Last weekend, MESSENGER team members participated in The Challenge of Discovery Educator Workshop. Held simultaneously at four locations across the United States, participants learned about MESSENGER's recent evidence for water ice near Mercury's poles. The view shown above is a mosaic of Mercury's north polar region, created from thousands of MDIS images obtained over MESSENGER's >2 years of orbital operations. It was part of an activity at the weekend's workshop, where different datasets from Mercury's north polar region were explored. View this workshop website to see and download other views of Mercury's north polar region.
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 90° N
Map Projection: Polar stereographic projection, extending southward to 65° N, with 0° longitude at the bottom
Scale: The diameter of this polar map projection covers 2,130 kilometers (1320 miles)
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. MESSENGER acquired over 150,000 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is capable of continuing orbital operations until early 2015.
For information regarding the use of images, see the MESSENGER image use policy.