Today's image is one of the highest resolution images MESSENGER has taken to date at only 3 meters per pixel. It features a small ridge with a crater on its crest. The small crater is a simple crater. If you look at the area around the crater, you can spy many craters that are even smaller! As MESSENGER continues passing close to the surface of Mercury, high resolution images such as this one will be taken, allowing scientists (and the public) to see Mercury as it has never been seen before!
This image was acquired as part of the MDIS low-altitude imaging campaign. During MESSENGER's second extended mission, the spacecraft makes a progressively closer approach to Mercury's surface than at any previous point in the mission, enabling the acquisition of high-spatial-resolution data. For spacecraft altitudes below 350 kilometers, NAC images are acquired with pixel scales ranging from 20 meters to as little as 2 meters.
Date acquired: June 09, 2014
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 44663950
Image ID: 6469301
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 75.38°
Center Longitude: 64.46° E
Resolution: 3 meters/pixel
Scale: The central crater is 366 m (1200 ft) in diameter.
Incidence Angle: 80.0°
Emission Angle: 1.2°
Phase Angle: 81.1°
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.