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
Gallery
Education
News Center
Science Operations
Who We Are
FAQs
Related Links
Contacts
Home

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



Come Closer, Cunningham
Click on image to enlarge.
Come Closer, Cunningham
Release Date: May 27, 2013
Topics: NAC, Named Craters



Date acquired: May 05, 2013
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 10038848
Image ID: 4007458
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 30.27
Center Longitude: 157.2 E
Resolution: 30 meters/pixel
Scale: Cunningham has a diameter of 38 kilometers (24 miles)
Incidence Angle: 38.8
Emission Angle: 5.1
Phase Angle: 35.8

Of Interest: This new, high-resolution view of Cunningham crater was recently acquired by MESSENGER. What you can't see in this image, which shows striking details of the crater's interior, is the extensive set of rays associated with Cunningham. The bright rays of Cunningham indicate that the crater is relatively young, having formed on Mercury likely within the last billion years. In this new view, the preserved terraces of the crater walls, the well-defined central peak, and the limited number of overlying small craters are also all signs of Cunningham's relative youth.

This image was acquired as a targeted set of stereo images. Targeted stereo observations are acquired at resolutions much higher than that of the 200-meter/pixel stereo base map. These targets acquired with the NAC enable the detailed topography of Mercury's surface to be determined for a local area of interest.

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.


   

   Top  | Contacts
© 1999-2014 by JHU/APL