This image brings tidings from Mercury's north pole for your Christmas Eve. In this view, the crater nearest the north pole is Tryggvadóttir, with Tolkien on the left and Chesterton on the right. Dreaming of a white Christmas on Mercury? MESSENGER's latest results find evidence for ice in these craters!
Date acquired: December 07, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 263411901
Image ID: 3098157
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filter: 2 (700 nanometers)
Center Latitude: 89.35°
Center Longitude: 201.3° E
Resolution: 92 meters/pixel
Scale: The north pole marker is 13 kilometers (8 miles) tall
Incidence Angle: 89.4°
Emission Angle: 33.0°
Phase Angle: 90.0°
The MESSENGER spacecraft is the first ever to orbit the planet Mercury, and the spacecraft's seven scientific instruments and radio science investigation are unraveling the history and evolution of the Solar System's innermost planet. Visit the Why Mercury? section of this website to learn more about the key science questions that the MESSENGER mission is addressing. During the one-year primary mission, MDIS acquired 88,746 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is now in a year-long extended mission, during which plans call for the acquisition of more than 80,000 additional images to support MESSENGER's science goals.
For information regarding the use of images, see the MESSENGER image use policy.