PIA11416: A Color Movie of Mercury's Surface


A Color Movie of Mercury’s Surface

Caption:

Click here for Movie Clip of PIA11416

Click on the image for the movie

A set of five 11-band images was captured by MESSENGER just after the spacecraft crossed the night/day line (the "terminator"), which are the highest-resolution color images ever obtained of Mercury's surface (see PIA11410 ). At the beginning of this movie, it is dawn in that region of Mercury, and the Sun is just off the horizon. The long shadows that are cast by crater walls exaggerate the ruggedness of the terrain and highlight variations in topography. Though Mercury's true colors are subtle (see PIA11364 ), the 11 color bands of MDIS were combined in a statistical method used to highlight differences in color units. Older, low-reflectance, and relatively blue material is encroached by younger, relatively red smooth plains. Several lobate scarps or cliffs are observed, which are places where compressional stresses caused Mercury's crust to fracture and shorten.

Date Acquired: October 6, 2008
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)

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 Sun
System Mercury
Target Type Planet Sun
Mission MESSENGER
Instrument Host MESSENGER
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Detector
Extra Keywords Color, Crater, Movie, Shadow
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2008-10-31
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/PIA11416
Identifier PIA11416