PIA17720: Say Cheese!

Say Cheese!


Can you see the face in this image? The two large craters towards the upper corners of this picture make eyes, and the prominent central peak is a perfect nose. It seems our model wasn't prepared for his MDIS photo shoot, as apparent from the perfect "O" mouth. This unnamed land form is part of a large, heavily cratered area in Mercury's northern hemisphere.

This image was acquired as part of MDIS's high-incidence-angle base map. The high-incidence-angle base map complements the surface morphology base map of MESSENGER's primary mission that was acquired under generally more moderate incidence angles. High incidence angles, achieved when the Sun is near the horizon, result in long shadows that accentuate the small-scale topography of geologic features. The high-incidence-angle base map was acquired with an average resolution of 200 meters/pixel.

Date acquired: October 04, 2013
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 23174065
Image ID: 4941357
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filter: 7 (748 nanometers)
Center Latitude: 50.32°
Center Longitude: 314.1° E
Resolution: 171 meters/pixel
Scale: The image is approximately 207 km (~129 mi.) across.
Incidence Angle: 79.9°
Emission Angle: 31.4°
Phase Angle: 48.4°
North is down in this image.

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. MESSENGER acquired over 150,000 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is capable of continuing orbital operations until early 2015.

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, Map, Radio, Shadow
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2013-11-22
Date in Caption 2013-10-04
Image Credit NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA17720
Identifier PIA17720