PIA11372: The Highest-resolution Image from MESSENGER's Second Mercury Flyby

The Highest-resolution Image from MESSENGER’s Second Mercury Flyby


The first image taken following MESSENGER's closest distance to Mercury ( PIA11352 ) during the mission's recent flyby was a Wide Angle Camera (WAC) image. The image shown here is the first NAC image acquired after closest approach, and since the resolution of the NAC is a factor of seven higher than that of the WAC, this image is the highest-resolution image obtained during MESSENGER's second Mercury flyby. The image was taken near local dawn, so the shadows are long and many features are shrouded in darkness. The right side of this image overlaps with the left side of the previously released close-up view of Machaut crater ( PIA11249 ), which was taken just five seconds later than this image. This portion of Mercury's surface is heavily cratered, with small craters visible down to the limits of even this highest-resolution image.

Date Acquired: October 6, 2008
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 131770803
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Resolution: 100 meters/pixel (0.06 miles/pixel)
Scale: This image is about 100 kilometers (60 miles) across
Spacecraft Altitude: 3,800 kilometers (2,400 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, Shadow
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2008-10-21
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/PIA11372
Identifier PIA11372