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Oblique Impacts in Color
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Oblique Impacts in Color
Release Date: August 21, 2013
Topics: Color Images, Crater Rays, , Rough Terrain

Date acquired: April 16, 2013
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 8426122, 8426114, 8426110
Image ID: 3892837, 3892835, 3892834
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filters: 9, 7, 6 (996, 748, 433 nanometers) in red, green, and blue
Center Latitude: 12.43°
Center Longitude: 262.4° E
Resolution: 320 meters/pixel
Scale: The image is about 400 km across (248 miles).
Incidence Angle: 40.5°
Emission Angle: 31.2°
Phase Angle: 71.8°

Of Interest:
This color image of the equatorial region of Mercury shows several unnamed craters and part of the crater Chiang K'ui in the northwestern corner. An elongated crater with a central ridge is found in the lower middle part of the scene. Elongated impact craters form when an asteroid or comet strikes the planet at a low angle (relative to the horizontal). Right at the center of the image is a small bright crater with an asymmetrical ray system, which is also diagnostic of a low angle of impact.

This image was acquired as a targeted high-resolution 11-color image set. Acquiring 11-color targets is a new campaign that began in March 2013 and that utilizes all of the WAC's 11 narrow-band color filters. Because of the large data volume involved, only features of special scientific interest are targeted for imaging in all 11 colors.

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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