April 23, 2015
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
This scene is approximately 560 meters (~1837 feet) across.
At approximately 1.1 meters/pixel, this image is among the highest-resolution views MESSENGER has ever taken of the surface of Mercury. The final orbital correction maneuver
(OCM) of the mission is planned for today, raising the periapsis from 8.3 to 18.2 km (5.1 to 11.3 miles) and delaying the spacecraft's inevitable crash for one more week.
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. In the mission's more than four years of orbital operations, MESSENGER has acquired over 250,000 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER's highly successful orbital mission is about to come to an end, as the spacecraft runs out of propellant and the force of solar gravity causes it to impact the surface of Mercury in April 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.