July 05, 2014
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
46889179, 46889199, 46889183
6626955, 6626960, 6626956
Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
9, 7, 6 (996, 748, 433 nanometers) in red, green, and blue
This scene is approximately 260 km (160 miles) across
At the left edge of this color view is a relatively fresh crater, featured previously in this oblique view
. Chains of secondary craters can be seen emanating from the crater, but its bright rays have already nearly faded into the background. Bright, relatively blue rays do cross the scene from northwest to southeast, but these are the famous rays
of Hokusai crater
, located over 1000 km away.
This image was acquired as a high-resolution targeted color observation. Targeted color observations are images of a small area on Mercury's surface at resolutions higher than the 1-kilometer/pixel 8-color base map. During MESSENGER's one-year primary mission, hundreds of targeted color observations were obtained. During MESSENGER's extended mission, high-resolution targeted color observations are more rare, as the 3-color base map covered Mercury's northern hemisphere with the highest-resolution color images that are possible.
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.