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Painting Mercury
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Painting Mercury
Release Date: June 21, 2012
Topics: Color Images, Crater Chains, Crater Rays, , , Mena

Date acquired: June 04, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 247336883, 247336875, 247336879
Image ID: 1955368, 1955366, 1955367
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: -3.78°
Center Longitude: 235.8° E
Resolution: 552 meters/pixel
Scale: Cezanne, the crater in the bottom center, is about 67 km (41 mi.) in diameter.
Incidence Angle: 55.6°
Emission Angle: 0.0°
Phase Angle: 55.6°

Of Interest: In this image, the bright rays of Mena crater and the distinctive color difference of Cezanne crater with the surrounding area are highlighted. These two distinctive features provide beautiful contrast to this color image, giving the viewer more insight into reflectance variations on Mercury's surface. Also note the larger, infilled crater on the right, crossed by crater chains.

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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