A NASA Discovery mission to conduct the first orbital study
of the innermost planet
NASA logo carnegie institution logo JHU APL logo

Why Mercury?
The Mission
News Center
Science Operations
Who We Are
Related Links

Download iPhone/iPad app Explore orbital data with quickmap Question and Answer End of Orbit Insertion Where is MESSENGER? Where is Mercury now? Subscribe to MESSENGER eNews

Triple Play
Click on image to enlarge.
Triple Play
Release Date: January 11, 2013

Date acquired: February 26, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 238781474
Image ID: 1445431
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 48.76°
Center Longitude: 298.0° E
Resolution: 13 meters/pixel
Scale: The scene is about 14 km (9 mi.) across.
Incidence Angle: 71.7°
Emission Angle: 0.1°
Phase Angle: 71.7°

Of Interest: This very high resolution image features three impact craters of nearly the same size that overlap to form a cloverleaf pattern. All three have rounded rims, indicating that they are relatively old. Determining the sequence of events is difficult. It may be that the one at the bottom formed most recently, blasting away sections of the rims of the other two.

This image was acquired as part of the NAC ride-along imaging campaign. When data volume is available and MDIS is not acquiring images for its other campaigns, high-resolution NAC images are obtained of the surface. These images are designed not to interfere with other instrument observations but take full advantage of periods during the mission when extra data volume is available.

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.


   Top  | Contacts
© 1999-2015 by JHU/APL