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



Colors Reveal What Lies Beneath
Click on image to enlarge.
Colors Reveal What Lies Beneath
Release Date: June 16, 2009
Topics: 2009 Science Magazine, Color Images, Volcanism, WAC



Date Acquired: October 6, 2008
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Resolution: 462 meters/pixel (0.29 miles/pixel)
Scale: Titian crater is 121 kilometers (75 miles) in diameter

Of Interest: This enhanced-color image shows Titian crater (center) and is similar to an image that recently appeared in the 1 May issue of Science magazine. The enhanced-color view was created by using high-resolution images taken in all 11 WAC filters (one of which is shown in a previously released image) and comparing and contrasting them to accentuate differences on Mercury’s surface. Such color differences can be used to learn about the history of Mercury’s surface in this area. In the enhanced color, the smooth floor of Titian is a brighter orange color than the surrounding area, likely due to being filled with volcanic material. Ejecta from Titian appear blue and cover much of the surface surrounding the crater. This material was excavated from depth during the crater’s formation. Later impacts, such as the one that produced the small crater that appears yellow in the upper center of the image, excavated material from below the Titian ejecta. This yellow-appearing material was present at or near the surface before the impact that created Titian and is a different composition (and thus, color) from its surroundings. Impacts make it possible to assess how Mercury’s crust varies with depth and ultimately how the crust evolved through time.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Arizona State University/Carnegie Institution of Washington


For information regarding the use of MESSENGER images, see the image use policy.


   

   Top  | Contacts
© 1999-2014 by JHU/APL