PIA11369: Mercury as Seen in Both Narrow and Wide Views

Mercury as Seen in Both Narrow and Wide Views


The gallery of images acquired by the MESSENGER mission is filled with both Wide Angle Camera (WAC) and Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) images. The two MDIS cameras, though they cannot operate simultaneously, are used together in a complementary fashion. The NAC acquires images at a factor of seven higher spatial resolution than the WAC, while the WAC is equipped with 11 narrow-band color filters; thus, the NAC can see features in much more detail, but the WAC can see them in color. This NAC image was taken just 22 seconds prior to the beginning of a set of WAC images used to create full-planet color images of Mercury ( PIA11364 ). The higher resolution of the NAC is evident by comparing these narrow and wide views of the same scene, taken back-to-back. In this NAC image, bright rays from nearby Kuiper crater ( PIA11355 ) enter the frame from the bottom of the image.

Date Acquired: October 6, 2008
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 131775206
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Resolution: 700 meters/pixel (0.43 miles/pixel)
Scale: This image is about 710 kilometers wide (440 miles)
Spacecraft Altitude: 27,000 kilometers (17,000 miles)

Background Info:

These images are from MESSENGER, a NASA Discovery mission to conduct the first orbital study of the innermost planet, Mercury. For information regarding the use of images, see the MESSENGER image use policy .

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Mercury
System Mercury
Target Type Planet
Instrument Host MESSENGER
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Extra Keywords Crater, Grayscale
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2008-10-16
Date in Caption 2008-10-06
Image Credit NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA11369
Identifier PIA11369