October 6, 2008
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
700 meters/pixel (0.43 miles/pixel)
This image is about 710 kilometers wide (440 miles)
27,300 kilometers (17,000 miles)
The gallery of images acquired by the MESSENGER mission is filled with both Wide Angle Camera (WAC) and Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) images. The two MDIS cameras, though they cannot operate simultaneously, are used together in a complementary fashion. The NAC acquires images at a factor of seven higher spatial resolution than the WAC, while the WAC is equipped with 11 narrow-band color filters; thus, the NAC can see features in much more detail, but the WAC can see them in color. This NAC image was taken just 22 seconds prior to the beginning of a set of WAC images used to create full-planet color images of Mercury
. The higher resolution of the NAC is evident by comparing these narrow and wide views of the same scene, taken back-to-back. In this NAC image, bright rays from nearby Kuiper crater
enter the frame from the bottom of the image.
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.