These two images were taken 133 seconds apart, and both show the hollow-covered central peak structure of an unnamed 60-kilometer crater. Why take two images of the same surface just over two minutes apart? To create a stereo view. The slight differences in the viewing geometries between these two quite similar looking images enables a 3D view of the surface to be created. So find a pair of red-cyan stereo glasses (or make some at home) and then check out tomorrow's combined 3D image.
These images were acquired as a targeted set of stereo images. Targeted stereo observations are acquired at resolutions much higher than that of the 200-meter/pixel stereo base map. These targets acquired with the NAC enable the detailed topography of Mercury's surface to be determined for a local area of interest.
Date acquired: March 24, 2013
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET) (since January 8, 2013): 6465097 (top), 6465230 (bottom)
Image ID: 3753557 (top), 3753558 (bottom)
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 36.20°
Center Longitude: 244.2° E
Resolution: 29 (top), 24 (bottom) meters/pixel
Scale: Each image is roughly 30 kilometers (19 miles) across
Incidence Angle: 61.7° (top), 61.7° (bottom)
Emission Angle: 21.1° (top), 7.9° (bottom)
Phase Angle: 65.8° (top), 69.6° (bottom)
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.