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Looking Into the Dark
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Looking Into the Dark
Release Date: August 29, 2012
Topics: , , Mendelssohn

Date acquired: July 21, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 251400686
Image ID: 2244179
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 70.28°
Center Longitude: 105.38° E
Resolution: 19 meters/pixel
Scale: The field of view in this image is approx. 9.7 km (2.3 mi.) across
Incidence Angle: 76.9°
Emission Angle: 11.0°
Phase Angle: 87.9°

Of Interest: This dramatic image, where north is to the right, shows a simple crater some 11 km in diameter, located within the 290-km-diameter Mendelssohn basin. Its sharp rim indicates that this crater is a comparatively young feature, though some parts of the crater wall have slumped onto the floor. The high resolution of this image shows distinctive textures along the crater walls.

This image was acquired as a high-resolution targeted observation. Targeted observations are images of a small area on Mercury's surface at resolutions much higher than the 200-meter/pixel morphology base map. It is not possible to cover all of Mercury's surface at this high resolution, but typically several areas of high scientific interest are imaged in this mode each week.

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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