PIA13748: Revisiting Some of MESSENGER's Early Discoveries and Anticipating More in 2011

Revisiting Some of MESSENGER’s Early Discoveries and Anticipating More in 2011


annotated image for PIA13748
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When MESSENGER first flew by Mercury on January 14, 2008, MDIS acquired images of a large portion of Mercury's surface that had never previously been seen by spacecraft. This mosaic of NAC images shows some of the geologic features discovered during that first flyby that have been subsequently named: the curving cliff face of Beagle Rupes , the elongated crater Sveinsdottir , and the craters Izquierdo and Kunisada flooded with lava.

This year, the MESSENGER spacecraft is positioned once again to visit the Solar System's innermost planet. However, this time, the spacecraft won't just pass by. On March 18, 2011, a 15-minute maneuver will place MESSENGER in orbit about Mercury, making it the first spacecraft ever to do so. The MESSENGER mission will then begin an extensive year-long science campaign to unravel Mercury's mysteries . 2011 promises to be an exciting year of further discoveries for the MESSENGER mission.

Date Acquired: January 14, 2008
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Scale: Izquierdo crater is 170 kilometers (106 miles) in diameter

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 Mars
System Mercury Mars
Target Type Planet
Mission MESSENGER Mars Express
Instrument Host MESSENGER
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Extra Keywords Crater, Grayscale
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2011-01-04
Date in Caption 2008-01-14 2011-03-18
Image Credit NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA13748
Identifier PIA13748