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



The One-Two Punch
Click on image to enlarge.
The One-Two Punch
Release Date: October 4, 2013
Topics: NAC



Date acquired: January 14, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 234999326
Image ID: 1263152
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: -42.23
Center Longitude: 40.26 E
Resolution: 188 meters/pixel
Scale: The unnamed crater is ~83 km (52 mi.) across
Incidence Angle: 70.8
Emission Angle: 22.9
Phase Angle: 76.1

Of Interest: The unnamed crater featured in this image might look like a ringed basin at high sun angles, but as can be clearly seen from the inset perspective view, in which the height is exaggerated 5 times, the central portion is a second crater that impacted the middle of the older crater. Such perspective views make use of a digital elevation model (DEM), which can be constructed either by accumulating topographic profiles from the MLA instrument or from measurements of shadows in images (or "photoclinometry"). In this case, the basemap is draped over the Gaskell DEM, which is constructed using photoclinometry. You can make your own perspective views of Mercury's surface using the QuickMap tool.

This image was acquired as part of MDIS's high-resolution stereo imaging campaign. Images from the stereo imaging campaign are used in combination with the surface morphology base map or the albedo base map to create high-resolution stereo views of Mercury's surface, with an average resolution of 200 meters/pixel. Viewing the surface under the same Sun illumination conditions but from two or more viewing angles enables information about the small-scale topography of Mercury's surface to be obtained.

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