June 26, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
217604449, 217604465, 217604445
429624, 429625, 429629
Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
9 (1000 nanometers), 7 (750 nanometers), 6 (430 nanometers) as red-green-blue
The inner ring of Tolstoj, the basin on the right of the image, is 365 km (~226.8 mi)
Highlighted in this image are Basho
, the dark-haloed crater at the bottom of this scene, Kalidasa
crater, the bright crater near the center, along with Tolstoj
basin on the right, in beautiful color
different types of surface materials are found in this region, including crater rays
, low reflectance material (LRM)
, and smooth plains
This image was acquired as part of MDIS's color base map. The color base map is composed of WAC images taken through eight different narrow-band color filters and will cover more than 90% of Mercury's surface with an average resolution of 1 kilometer/pixel (0.6 miles/pixel). The highest-quality color images are obtained for Mercury's surface when both the spacecraft and the Sun are overhead, so these images typically are taken with viewing conditions of low incidence and emission angles.
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. Visit the Why Mercury?
section of this website to learn more about the key science questions that the MESSENGER mission is addressing. During the one-year primary mission, MDIS is scheduled to acquire more than 75,000 images in support of MESSENGER's science goals.
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.