January 13, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
234961021, 234961017, 234961013
1261261, 1261260, 1261259
Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
9, 7, 6 (996, 748, 433 nanometers) in red, green, and blue
Rachmaninoff basin is about 306 km (~190 miles) in diameter
image of Rachmaninoff
highlights the many unique features of this impact basin. Here, the inner ring of Rachmaninoff's double ring structure
appears blue, showing evidence of Low Reflectance Material (LRM)
. This contrasts with the lighter inner ring floor, in which concentric troughs
are also visible. Scattered hollows
across the tops of the peak rings also add to the range of features that are visible in this color image.
This image was acquired as a high-resolution targeted color observation. Targeted color observations are images of a small area on Mercury's surface at resolutions higher than the 1-kilometer/pixel 8-color base map. During MESSENGER's one-year primary mission, hundreds of targeted color observations were obtained. During MESSENGER's extended mission, high-resolution targeted color observations are more rare, as the 3-color base map is covering Mercury's northern hemisphere with the highest-resolution color images that are possible.
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, MESSENGER acquired 88,746 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is now in a yearlong extended mission, during which plans call for the acquisition of more than 80,000 additional images to support 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.