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A View of MESSENGER's Flight Path
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A View of MESSENGER's Flight Path
Release Date: August 1, 2014
Topics: Mosaics, , , Polar, Prokofiev

Instrument: Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 90.0°
Map Projection: Polar stereographic projection, extending southward to 75° N
Scale: Prokofiev crater is 112 km (69.6 miles) in diameter

Of Interest: This figure highlights the flight path of MESSENGER during its acquisition of images used in today's flyover movie. The spacecraft flew over Mercury's north polar region, providing a bird's eye view of Mercury's crater-ridden surface. A flight path mosaic of 179 images is overlain on a less opaque mosaic of Mercury's north pole. To observe a close-up view of MESSENGER's flight path, click here.

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. During the first two years of orbital operations, MESSENGER acquired over 150,000 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is capable of continuing orbital operations until early 2015.

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.

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