September 29, 2009
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
7 (750 nanometers)
4.8 kilometers/pixel (3.0 miles/pixel)
Mercury's diameter is 4880 kilometers (3030 miles)
26,900 kilometers (16,700 miles)
MESSENGER imaged Mercury's partially sunlit surface
on its approach to the planet yesterday. This WAC image reveals approximately an additional 5% of the surface (outlined in red) that had been previously unseen by spacecraft. Among the many newly imaged surface features are impact craters, smooth plains, and an intriguing double-ring basin
approximately 260 kilometers (125 miles) in diameter. Rembrandt basin
straddles Mercury's terminator (along the right side 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.