This colorful scene of Tyagaraja crater and its surroundings contains many different types of material. The very bright areas on the floor of the crater are hollows, and are so much brighter than the surrounding areas that they appear saturated in this particular image (whose "stretch" optimizes the appearance of the darker material). The reddish spot at the center of the crater is likely material surrounding a pyroclastic vent. The dark material that appears bluish in this color composite is low reflectance material (LRM). Areas of different colors on Mercury generally correspond to differences in composition.
This image was acquired as a targeted high-resolution 11-color image set. Acquiring 11-color targets is a new campaign that began in March 2013 and that utilizes all of the WAC's 11 narrow-band color filters. Because of the large data volume involved, only features of special scientific interest are targeted for imaging in all 11 colors.
Date acquired: April 25, 2013
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 9232956, 9232948, 9232944
Image ID: 3950118, 3950116, 3950115
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filters: 9, 7, 6 (996, 748, 433 nanometers) in red, green, and blue
Center Latitude: 3.94°
Center Longitude: 211.2° E
Resolution: 376 meters/pixel
Scale: Tyagaraja crater is about 97 km (60 mi.) in diameter.
Incidence Angle: 13.4°
Emission Angle: 18.0°
Phase Angle: 31.5°
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.