PIA16862: Love's Secret Domain
Target Name: Mercury
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: MESSENGER
Spacecraft: MESSENGER
Instrument: MDIS - Narrow Angle
Product Size: 596 x 576 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Johns Hopkins University/APL
Full-Res TIFF: PIA16862.tif (343.9 kB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA16862.jpg (45.58 kB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

Original Caption Released with Image:

The floor of this unnamed crater, located southeast of Picasso crater, exhibits dark material on the southern crater floor at the base of multiple central peaks. Bright hollows cover the tops of the peaks, resembling a white heart on the dark background.

This image was acquired as part of MDIS's high-resolution albedo base map. The best images for discerning variations in albedo, or brightness, on the surface are acquired when the Sun is overhead, so these images typically are taken with low incidence angles. The albedo base map is a major mapping campaign in MESSENGER's extended mission and will cover Mercury's surface at an average resolution of 200 meters/pixel.

Date acquired: August 01, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 252323851
Image ID: 2309748
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: -3.42
Center Longitude: 54.44 E
Resolution: 98 meters/pixel
Scale: The unnamed large crater is about 35 km (22 miles) across.
Incidence Angle: 28.5
Emission Angle: 17.1
Phase Angle: 45.6

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.

Image Credit:
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Image Addition Date:
2013-02-28