April 05, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
12 (828 nanometers)
The image is about 160 km (100 mi.) on a side.
This image covers one section of the 110-km diameter crater Abedin
. The center of the crater, marked by central peak mountains, is at the lower left corner of the image. Strings of secondary craters, formed by blocks of material thrown out of the main crater, are arranged in a generally radial pattern leading away from the crater. The secondary craters are found at or beyond a distance of about one crater radius from the rim. The area adjacent to the rim is dominated by the crater's continuous ejecta blanket. The image was collected as part of MESSENGER's color base map. It was binned on the spacecraft from its original size of 1024 by 1024 pixels to 256 by 256.
MDIS's color base map is composed of WAC images taken through eight different narrow-band color filters and will cover more than 90% of Mercury's surface with an average resolution of 1 kilometer/pixel (0.6 miles/pixel). The highest-quality color images are obtained for Mercury's surface when both the spacecraft and the Sun are overhead, so these images typically are taken with viewing conditions of low incidence and emission angles.
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. Visit the Why Mercury?
section of this website to learn more about the key science questions that the MESSENGER mission is addressing. During the one-year primary mission, MDIS is scheduled to acquire more than 75,000 images in support of MESSENGER's science goals.
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.