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What a Difference a Week Can Make
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What a Difference a Week Can Make
Release Date: October 13, 2008
Topics: Crater Rays, Kuiper, Limb Images, Mercury Flyby 2, ,

Date Acquired: October 6, 2008
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 131772818
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC Filter: 1 (700 nanometers)
Resolution: 2.6 kilometers/pixel (1.6 miles/pixel)
Scale: The left side of the image is about 2,700 kilometers tall (1,700 miles)
Spacecraft Altitude: 14,600 kilometers (9,100 miles)

Of Interest: One week ago, no spacecraft had ever seen the majority of the surface visible in this image. Today, one week after MESSENGER°s successful second Mercury flyby, about 95% of Mercury°s surface has been viewed by spacecraft, resulting in nearly global spacecraft imaging coverage of Mercury°s surface for the first time. This WAC image is just one of 99 in a set of 3 columns by 3 rows by 11 color filters that is being combined into a color mosaic of the departing planet. Kuiper crater, with its bright ejecta rays, is visible on the left edge of the image and was seen by Mariner 10, but most of the terrain east of Kuiper was not. A newly imaged crater with an unusual halo of dark material is visible at about the same latitude but toward Mercury°s limb. The long, bright rays that can be seen extending across the surface emanate from a crater just north 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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