The terminator returns! This color image portrays the striking separation of night and day on Mercury, evident in the change from dark to light. On Mercury, a solar day (the time it takes for the Sun to return to the same spot in the sky) is equal to 176 Earth days! Check out this animation of a day on Mercury!
Date acquired: June 09, 2013
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 13112416, 13112408, 13112404
Image ID: 4226598, 4226596, 4226595
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: -73.27°
Center Longitude: 82.14° E
Resolution: 1473 meters/pixel
Scale: Image height is 1540 km (957 miles)
Incidence Angle: 84.2°
Emission Angle: 15.2°
Phase Angle: 69.0°
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. 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.