September 25, 2009
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
33 kilometers/pixel (21 miles/pixel)
Mercury's diameter is 4880 kilometers (3030 miles)
1,300,000 kilometers (810,000 miles)
With four days remaining until MESSENGER's third flyby of Mercury
, MDIS captured this NAC image of the approaching planet. Mercury appears as a sunlit crescent, and the MESSENGER spacecraft is quickly approaching at a speed of approximately 3.3 kilometers/second (7,400 miles/hour)! View this animation
to watch the many instrument observations planned for the upcoming encounter next week.
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.