June 05, 2013
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
12743939, 12743931, 12743927
4199991, 4199989, 4199988
Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
9, 7, 6 (996, 748, 433 nanometers) in red, green, and blue
Image width is about 509 km (316 miles)
This image emphasizes the beautiful rays of Qi Baishi
, in the top of the image. The crater was named for the Chinese painter, Qi Baishi, known for his whimsical watercolors. The extensive rays of the crater mimic such whimsicality, extending far from the impact, exposing new material across the scene. The bright ray system indicates that Qi Baishi is relatively young, compared to other visible features. Notice the lack of rays extending from the west of the crater. This asymmetry
indicates that the impactor struck at a relatively low incidence angle from the west.
This image was acquired as a targeted high-resolution 11-color image set. Acquiring 11-color targets is a new campaign that began in March 2013 and that utilizes all of the WAC's 11 narrow-band color filters. Because of the large data volume involved, only features of special scientific interest are targeted for imaging in all 11 colors.
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. During the first two years of orbital operations, MESSENGER acquired over 150,000 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is capable of continuing orbital operations until early 2015.
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.