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
News Center
Science Operations
Who We Are
Related Links

Download iPhone/iPad app Explore orbital data with quickmap Question and Answer End of Orbit Insertion Where is MESSENGER? Where is Mercury now? Subscribe to MESSENGER eNews

Targeted Observations Reveal Unprecedented Detail
Click on image to enlarge.
Targeted Observations Reveal Unprecedented Detail
Release Date: May 10, 2011
Topics: HD Resolution Images, Mosaics,

Date acquired: April 21, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 211851682, 211851687, 211851692, 211851697
Image ID: 157545-48
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 83.12°
Center Longitude: 291.6° E
Resolution: 15 meters/pixel
Scale: 20 kilometer scale bar given on image
Incidence Angle: 82.9°
Emission Angle: 12.4°
Phase Angle: 70.4°

Of Interest: MDIS acquires targeted images of small areas on Mercury's surface at resolutions much higher than those of the morphology, stereo, or color base maps. It is not possible to cover all of Mercury's surface at such high resolutions during MESSENGER's one-year primary mission, but several areas of high scientific interest are generally imaged in this mode each week. Additionally, as new features of particular science interest are imaged from orbit, targets are added to a database list and will be imaged if possible at higher resolution by MDIS, or with multiple instruments, the next time that area of Mercury is in view from the spacecraft. This image is a mosaic of four images from a targeted observation acquired at 15 m/pixel, a resolution that is more than an order of magnitude improvement over the surface morphology base map. These ultra-high-resolution images are revealing Mercury's surface in unprecedented detail.

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. Visit the Why Mercury? section of this website to learn more about the key science questions that the MESSENGER mission is addressing. During the one-year primary mission, MDIS is scheduled to acquire more than 75,000 images in support of MESSENGER's science goals.

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
© 1999-2015 by JHU/APL