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Snowmen on Mercury?
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Snowmen on Mercury?
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Topics: Crater Rays,

Date acquired: February 03, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 236745674
Image ID: 1347114
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filter: 7 (748 nanometers)
Center Latitude: 0.86°
Center Longitude: 96.79° E
Resolution: 289 meters/pixel
Scale: This image is 310 km (193 miles) across.
Incidence Angle: 58.7°
Emission Angle: 18.7°
Phase Angle: 43.2°

Of Interest: This image displays several heavily weathered craters. The chain of three superposed craters that roughly form the shape of a snowman in the center bottom of the scene are covered by ejecta material that appears bright relative to the surrounding terrain.

This image was acquired as part of MDIS's high-resolution stereo imaging campaign. Images from the stereo imaging campaign are used in combination with the surface morphology base map or the albedo base map to create high-resolution stereo views of Mercury's surface, with an average resolution of 200 meters/pixel. Viewing the surface under the same Sun illumination conditions but from two or more viewing angles enables information about the small-scale topography of Mercury's surface to be obtained.

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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