PIA15859: Snowmen on Mercury?
 Target Name:  Mercury
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  MESSENGER
 Spacecraft:  MESSENGER
 Instrument:  Mercury Dual Imaging System - Narrow Angle  
 Product Size:  1167 x 1106 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  Johns Hopkins University / Applied Physics Laboratory  
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA15859.tif (1.292 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA15859.jpg (237 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:

This image displays several heavily weathered craters. The chain of three superposed craters that roughly form the shape of a snowman in the center bottom of the scene are covered by ejecta material that appears bright relative to the surrounding terrain.

This image was acquired as part of MDIS's high-resolution stereo imaging campaign. Images from the stereo imaging campaign are used in combination with the surface morphology base map or the albedo base map to create high-resolution stereo views of Mercury's surface, with an average resolution of 200 meters/pixel. Viewing the surface under the same Sun illumination conditions but from two or more viewing angles enables information about the small-scale topography of Mercury's surface to be obtained.

This image was acquired as a high-resolution targeted observation. Targeted observations are images of a small area on Mercury's surface at resolutions much higher than the 200-meter/pixel morphology base map. It is not possible to cover all of Mercury's surface at this high resolution, but typically several areas of high scientific interest are imaged in this mode each week.

Date acquired: February 03, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 236745674
Image ID: 1347114
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filter: 7 (748 nanometers)
Center Latitude: 0.86
Center Longitude: 96.79 E
Resolution: 289 meters/pixel
Scale: This image is 310 km (193 miles) across.
Incidence Angle: 58.7
Emission Angle: 18.7
Phase Angle: 43.2

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 acquired 88,746 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is now in a year-long extended mission, during which plans call for the acquisition of more than 80,000 additional images to support MESSENGER's science goals.

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: