April 28, 2015
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
The scene is about 1 km (0.6 miles) wide. This image has not been map projected.
This image covers a small area located about 115 km south of the center of Mansart crater. The smallest craters visible in the image are about the size of the 16-meter (52-feet) crater that will be made by the impact of the MESSENGER spacecraft. The impact will take place tomorrow, April 30, 2015.
Just left of center is a crater that is about 80 meters in diameter. The bright area on its right wall may be an outcrop of hollows material
I see you falling / How long to go before you hit the ground?
--from the song "Tomorrow", by the band James
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 270,000 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 on April 30, 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.