Today's color image features a small crater in Mercury's northern hemisphere. This relatively young crater is highlighted by its striking white rays, which contrast the darker, surrounding terrain of low reflectance material. The bright rays result from fine-grained and relatively unweathered material that was ejected and deposited by the impact.
This image was acquired as a targeted high-resolution 11-color image set. Acquiring 11-color targets is a new campaign that began in March 2013 and that utilizes all of the WAC's 11 narrow-band color filters. Because of the large data volume involved, only features of special scientific interest are targeted for imaging in all 11 colors.
Date acquired: July 08, 2014
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 47178430, 47178426, 47178424
Image ID: 6647334, 6647332, 6647331
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: 43.97°
Center Longitude: 34.76° E
Resolution: 348 meters/pixel
Scale: The crater on the right of this image is approximately 16 km (10 miles) across
Incidence Angle: 45.9°
Emission Angle: 1.6°
Phase Angle: 44.9°
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. During the first two years of orbital operations, 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.