This image is one of the highest-resolution MDIS observations to date! Many craters of varying degradation states are visible, as well as gentle terrain undulations. Very short exposure times are needed to make these low-altitude observations while the spacecraft is moving quickly over the surface; thus the images are slightly noisier than typical MDIS images.
This image was acquired as a high-resolution targeted observation. Targeted observations are images of a small area on Mercury's surface at resolutions much higher than the 200-meter/pixel morphology base map. It is not possible to cover all of Mercury's surface at this high resolution, but typically several areas of high scientific interest are imaged in this mode each week.
Date acquired: March 15, 2014
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 37173522
Image ID: 5936740
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 71.91°
Center Longitude: 232.7° E
Resolution: 5 meters/pixel
Scale: The image is approximately 8.3 km (5.2 mi.) across.
Incidence Angle: 79.4°
Emission Angle: 4.0°
Phase Angle: 83.4°
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.