PIA19434: Delaying the Inevitable
 Target Name:  Mercury
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  MESSENGER
 Spacecraft:  MESSENGER
 Instrument:  MDIS - Narrow Angle
 Product Size:  508 x 512 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  Johns Hopkins University/APL
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA19434.tif (260.6 kB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA19434.jpg (32.58 kB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

Original Caption Released with Image:

At approximately 1.1 meters/pixel, this image is among the highest-resolution views MESSENGER has ever taken of the surface of Mercury. The final orbital correction maneuver (OCM) of the mission is planned for today, raising the periapsis from approximately 8 to 19 km (5 to 12 miles) and delaying the spacecraft's inevitable crash for one more week.

Date acquired: April 23, 2015
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 72114468
Image ID: 8382023
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 49.26
Center Longitude: 253.44 E
Resolution: 1.1 meters/pixel
Scale: This scene is approximately 560 meters (~1837 feet) across.

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. In the mission's more than four years of orbital operations, MESSENGER has acquired over 250,000 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER's highly successful orbital mission is about to come to an end, as the spacecraft runs out of propellant and the force of solar gravity causes it to impact the surface of Mercury in April 2015.

For information regarding the use of images, see the MESSENGER image use policy.

Image Credit:
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Image Addition Date:
2015-04-24