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

The Smoothness of Schubert
Click on image to enlarge.
The Smoothness of Schubert
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Topics: , , Volcanism, Schubert

Date acquired: August 25, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 254342915
Image ID: 2453139
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: -42.35°
Center Longitude: 308.3° E
Resolution: 279 meters/pixel
Scale: This scene is about 177 km (110 mi) across.
Incidence Angle: 62.8°
Emission Angle: 25.0°
Phase Angle: 87.9°

Of Interest: Along the left side of this image, we can see a portion of the interior of the Schubert impact basin. Located in Mercury's southern hemisphere, Schubert was named for the early 19th century composer Franz Schubert. The basin's smooth floor resulted when the basin filled with lava, further evidence of past volcanism on Mercury.

This image was acquired as part of MDIS's high-resolution albedo base map. The best images for discerning variations in albedo, or brightness, on the surface are acquired when the Sun is overhead, so these images typically are taken with low incidence angles. The albedo base map is a major mapping campaign in MESSENGER's extended mission and will cover Mercury's surface at an average resolution of 200 meters/pixel.

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.


   Top  | Contacts
© 1999-2015 by JHU/APL