June 7, 2011, in a MESSENGER Science Highlight article.
This figure shows a comparison of Mariner 10 (left) and MESSENGER (right) images of the Tolstoj impact basin, approximately 350 km in diameter. The level of detail visible in the MESSENGER mosaic (~220 m/pixel) is much greater than that in the Mariner 10 mosaic (~1 km/pixel). MESSENGER will image more than 90% of Mercury's surface at an average resolution of 250 m/pixel or better, a feat that could never have been accomplished by Mariner 10. MESSENGER is also taking higher-resolution targeted images at resolutions of 10-25 m/pixel!
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.