July 08, 2013
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
The scene is about 205 km (127 mi.) across
This image was obtained from an oblique viewing perspective. In the left part of the scene an impressive lobate scarp (curving cliff) can be seen. "Rupes
" is the Latin term used in planetary nomenclature for such a cliff. This one, named Vostok Rupes, was first seen by Mariner 10. The name, for the ship used by Bellingshausen for Antarctic exploration (1819–21), was adopted by the IAU in 1976.
This image was acquired as part of the NAC ride-along imaging campaign. When data volume is available and MDIS is not acquiring images for its other campaigns, high-resolution NAC images are obtained of the surface. These images are designed not to interfere with other instrument observations but take full advantage of periods during the mission when extra data volume is available.
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.
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
For information regarding the use of MESSENGER images, see the image use policy.