Like yesterday's image, and the one from last week, today's image features the same potential volcanic vent. However, today's image is actually a combination of two additional images that were taken by the spacecraft 255 seconds apart. During that time of just over 4 minutes, the spacecraft had moved enough to provide slightly different viewing angles of the same surface, enabling this 3D representation to be made. Find a pair of red-cyan glasses to view the 3D image, and the image has been rotated such that north is to the left to enhance the 3D effect.
This image was 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: July 02, 2013
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 15108910, 15109165
Image ID: 4368031, 4368047
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 24.28°
Center Longitude: 148.3° E
Resolution: 44 meters/pixel
Scale: This image is 40 km (25 miles) across
Incidence Angle: 72.2°
Emission Angle: 26.1°, 32.9°
Phase Angle: 98.2°, 96.3°
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.