July 08, 2014
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
47178430, 47178426, 47178424
6647334, 6647332, 6647331
Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
9, 7, 6 (996, 748, 433 nanometers) in red, green, and blue
The crater on the right of this image is approximately 16 km (10 miles) across
Today's color image features a small crater in Mercury's northern hemisphere. This relatively young crater is highlighted by its striking white rays
, which contrast the darker, surrounding terrain of low reflectance material
. The bright rays
result from fine-grained and relatively unweathered material that was ejected and deposited by the impact.
This image was acquired as a targeted high-resolution 11-color image set. Acquiring 11-color targets is a new campaign that began in March 2013 and that utilizes all of the WAC's 11 narrow-band color filters. Because of the large data volume involved, only features of special scientific interest are targeted for imaging in all 11 colors.
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.