PIA14822: Claire de Limb

Claire de Limb


The extensive rays of Debussy stretch across this image of Mercury's limb. The crater and its rays appear brighter than the surrounding surface for the most part because the crater is relatively young. The excavated materials have not resided on the surface long enough to have been substantially darkened by space weathering .

This image was acquired as part of MDIS's limb imaging campaign. Once per week, MDIS captures images of Mercury's limb, with an emphasis on imaging the southern hemisphere limb. These limb images provide information about Mercury's shape and complement measurements of topography made by the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) of Mercury's northern hemisphere.

Date acquired: September 13, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 224377798
Image ID: 753201
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filter: 7 (748 nanometers)
Center Latitude: -32.84°
Center Longitude: 18.14° E
Resolution: 1363 meters/pixel
Scale: Debussy is 80 km (~50 miles) in diameter

Background Info:

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.

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
Target Type Planet
Instrument Host MESSENGER
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Detector Wide Angle Camera (WAC)
Extra Keywords Crater, Grayscale, Radio
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2011-09-23
Date in Caption 2011-09-13
Image Credit NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA14822
Identifier PIA14822