PIA15244: Stars Are Stars
 Target Name:  Pleiades
 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:  PIA15244.tif (260.6 kB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA15244.jpg (58.4 kB)

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Original Caption Released with Image:

This image is a "star cal" frame collected about a month before MESSENGER's first flyby of Venus. MESSENGER's cameras are designed to view the bright surface of Mercury, so a very long exposure time (about 10 seconds) is needed to capture a star field. Nonetheless, the data are useful in refining the camera's calibration. The bright stars seen here belong to the open cluster known as the Pleiades.

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. Visit the Why Mercury? section of this website to learn more about the key science questions that the MESSENGER mission is addressing. During the one-year primary mission, MDIS is scheduled to acquire more than 75,000 images in support of MESSENGER's science goals.

Date acquired: September 26, 2006
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 67753380
Image ID: 2751
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)

These images are from MESSENGER, a NASA Discovery mission to conduct the first orbital study of the innermost planet, Mercury. 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: