Today's image features a stunning view of two complex craters within the Caloris basin. The floor of Sander crater is covered with bright hollows, while Munch crater stands out due to its low-reflectance crater rim.
This image was acquired as a high-resolution targeted color observation. Targeted color observations are images of a small area on Mercury's surface at resolutions higher than the 1-kilometer/pixel 8-color base map. During MESSENGER's one-year primary mission, hundreds of targeted color observations were obtained. During MESSENGER's extended mission, high-resolution targeted color observations are more rare, as the 3-color base map covered Mercury's northern hemisphere with the highest-resolution color images that are possible.
Date acquired: April 26, 2014
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 40804465, 40804485, 40804469
Image ID: 6194731, 6194736, 6194732
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: 39.98°
Center Longitude: 153.1° E
Resolution: 290 meters/pixel
Scale: Sander crater is about 51 km (31.7 miles) in diameter
Incidence Angle: 46.9°
Emission Angle: 50.5°
Phase Angle: 79.7°
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.