November 14, 2013
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
This image is roughly 45 km (28 miles) across
North is to the right, to enhance the 3D effect
Today's image is an anaglyph, which means if you have a pair of red-cyan glasses
, you can see the image in 3D. While this peak, which is slightly over a kilometer tall, is located within a circular depression, it is much larger relative to the size of the depression than other central peaks
that formed during impact cratering events on Mercury. Additionally, the feature has a distinctive red color signature
, associated with sites of explosive volcanic eruptions on Mercury. Peaks such as this one are rare on Mercury, but there is a similar one nearby
that also shares the same red color characteristics.
This image was acquired as a targeted set of stereo images. Targeted stereo observations are acquired at resolutions much higher than that of the 200-meter/pixel stereo base map. These targets acquired with the NAC enable the detailed topography of Mercury's surface to be determined for a local area of interest.
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.