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Crater Brilliance
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Crater Brilliance
Release Date: August 5, 2013
Topics: Color Images, Crater Rays, Smooth Terrain,

Date acquired: September 03, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 255173197, 255173189, 255173193
Image ID: 2512508, 2512506, 2512507
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: 46.39°
Center Longitude: 45.05° E
Resolution: 158 meters/pixel
Scale: Bright Crater Diameter : 6.2 km (3.85 mi)
Incidence Angle: 61.4°
Emission Angle: 0.1°
Phase Angle: 61.5°

Of Interest: The bright rays of this unnamed crater mark the path of its ejecta, which swept across the volcanic plains that cover a large portion of Mercury's northern polar region. The high reflectance and beautifully preserved rays indicate the crater is one of the youngest impacts of its size on Mercury.

This image was acquired as part of MDIS's high-resolution 3-color imaging campaign. The map produced from this campaign complements the 8-color base map (at an average resolution of 1 km/pixel) acquired during MESSENGER's primary mission by imaging Mercury's surface in a subset of the color filters at the highest resolution possible. The three narrow-band color filters are centered at wavelengths of 430 nm, 750 nm, and 1000 nm, and image resolutions generally range from 100 to 400 meters/pixel in the northern hemisphere.

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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