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South Polar Pals
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South Polar Pals
Release Date: January 3, 2013
Topics: , , Polar

Date acquired: June 28, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 249339307
Image ID: 2096832
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: -82.38°
Center Longitude: 75.23° E
Resolution: 256 meters/pixel
Scale: Kobro crater is 54 kilometers (33.6 miles) across
Incidence Angle: 86.3°
Emission Angle: 6.0°
Phase Angle: 92.2°

Of Interest: This high-incidence angle image highlights a pair of newly named craters, Kobro and Komeda. Both craters exhibit prominent central peaks, and are located near Mercury's South Pole. Kobro crater, named for the Polish sculptor Katarzyna Kobro (1898-1951) is located near the center of the image, while Komeda, named for the Polish composer and musician Krysztof Komeda (1931-1969) is located just to the southeast. The craters are of approximately the same size, and appear to share a rim.

This image was acquired as part of MDIS's high-incidence-angle base map. The high-incidence-angle base map is a major mapping activity in MESSENGER's extended mission and complements the surface morphology base map of MESSENGER's primary mission that was acquired under generally more moderate incidence angles. High incidence angles, achieved when the Sun is near the horizon, result in long shadows that accentuate the small-scale topography of geologic features. The high-incidence-angle base map is being acquired with an average resolution of 200 meters/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, 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.


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