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The Many Colors of Mercury
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The Many Colors of Mercury
Release Date: July 19, 2012
Topics: Color Images, Crater Rays, Craters with Dark Material, Moody, ,

Date acquired: June 20, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 248689510, 248689502, 248689506
Image ID: 2051631, 2051629, 2051630
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filters: 9, 7, 6 (996, 748, 433 nanometers) in red, green, and blue
Center Latitude: -22.00°
Center Longitude: 137.8° E
Resolution: 829 meters/pixel
Scale: This image spans a distance of about 1200 km (745 miles).
Incidence Angle: 28.9°
Emission Angle: 0.3°
Phase Angle: 29.0°

Of Interest: This scene lies between Moody and Amaral craters. The patch of dark blue Low Reflectance Material (LRM) in the upper center of the image and the bright rayed crater on the right make this a diverse view of Mercury's surface. Perhaps the most enigmatic feature in this image is the small very dark crater just below the bright rayed crater on the right. This dark crater can also be seen near the center of this limb image.

This image was acquired as part of MDIS's high-resolution 3-color imaging campaign. The 3-color campaign is a major mapping activity in MESSENGER's extended mission. It complements the 8-color base map (at an average resolution of 1 km/pixel) acquired during MESSENGER's primary mission by imaging Mercury's surface in a subset of the color filters at the highest resolution possible. The three narrow-band color filters are centered at wavelengths of 430 nm, 750 nm, and 1000 nm, and image resolutions generally range from 100 to 400 meters/pixel in the northern hemisphere.

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, MESSENGER acquired 88,746 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is now in a yearlong extended mission, during which plans call for the acquisition of more than 80,000 additional images to support 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.


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