September 28, 2009
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
14 kilometers/pixel (8.7 miles/pixel)
Mercury's diameter is 4880 kilometers (3030 miles)
542,000 kilometers (337,000 miles)
Of Interest: MESSENGER's third flyby of Mercury
occurs today, with closest approach to the planet at 5:55 pm EDT. This NAC image of a sunlit crescent Mercury was taken 44 hours before the spacecraft's closest pass to the surface. Visit the interactive visualization tool
to examine in detail the instrument observations planned for the flyby. Starting at 3:45 pm EDT today, the visualization tool can be run in real-time, showing the planned observations on the website at the same time that the MESSENGER spacecraft will be performing the actual observations. The images and other measurements collected by MESSENGER during the flyby will begin to be transmitted to Earth just before midnight tonight.
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.