July 27, 2014
Visible and Infrared Spectrograph (VIRS) of the Mercury Atmosphere and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS) and Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
VIRS Color Composite Wavelengths:
575 nm as red, 415 nm/750 nm as green, 310 nm/390 nm as blue
MDIS Color Wavelengths:
1000nm as red, 750nm as green, 430 as blue
Rembrandt is 715 km (444 mi.) in diameter
The top image is a MASCS
VIRS color composite
, Mercury's second largest impact basin
. The bottom image is a MDIS color mosaic of the same area. Rembrandt's rim appears blue in both images, indicating low reflectance relative to its center in the VIRS image. Some small, fresh craters appear in yellow and are highly reflective in VIRS.
The VIRS composite shows hundreds of individual footprints tracks (minimum 100-200 m across and 3-4 km long) taken from different directions and altitudes. In locations where multiple footprints cover the same area, the footprint with the best illumination for mineralogical interpretation (usually the lowest incidence angle where shadows are minimized) is used for making the map.
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.