April 26, 2011, in a MESSENGER Science Highlight article.
Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA)
The figure here shows MLA's first measurements from Mercury orbit. This profile extends almost 5,000 km across the surface. The colors on the track show surface altitude relative to Mercury's average radius, estimated to be 2,440 km. The inset shows an expanded view of the very deepest portion of the profile.
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.
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
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