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A View Over Mercury's Horizon
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A View Over Mercury's Horizon
Release Date: October 8, 2008
Topics: Mercury Flyby 2, NAC

Date Acquired: October 6, 2008
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 131766595
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Resolution: 400 meters/pixel (0.25 miles/pixel) near the bottom of the image
Scale: The bottom length of the image is about 410 kilometers (250 miles)
Spacecraft Altitude: 15,800 kilometers (9,800 miles)

Of Interest: This image was taken about 54 minutes before MESSENGERís closest approach to Mercury during the missionís second flyby of the innermost planet in the Solar System. The striking image shows a view looking over Mercuryís horizon into the darkness of space. The surface in this image is located in the northern portion of the sunlit, crescent-shaped planet seen as the spacecraft approached Mercury. The low Sun angle creates distinct shadows, enhancing the visibility of the roughness of the surface, which is especially prominent for material ejected from, and surrounding, the impact crater cut by the left edge of this image.

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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