PIA18673: A Bright Sight

A Bright Sight


Today's color image features a small crater in Mercury's northern hemisphere. This relatively young crater is highlighted by its striking white rays , which contrast the darker, surrounding terrain of low reflectance material . The bright rays result from fine-grained and relatively unweathered material that was ejected and deposited by the impact.

This image was acquired as a targeted high-resolution 11-color image set. Acquiring 11-color targets is a new campaign that began in March 2013 and that utilizes all of the WAC's 11 narrow-band color filters. Because of the large data volume involved, only features of special scientific interest are targeted for imaging in all 11 colors.

Date acquired: July 08, 2014
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 47178430, 47178426, 47178424
Image ID: 6647334, 6647332, 6647331
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filters: 9, 7, 6 (996, 748, 433 nanometers) in red, green, and blue
Center Latitude: 43.97°
Center Longitude: 34.76° E
Resolution: 348 meters/pixel
Scale: The crater on the right of this image is approximately 16 km (10 miles) across
Incidence Angle: 45.9°
Emission Angle: 1.6°
Phase Angle: 44.9°

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. During the first two years of orbital operations, 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 Color, Crater, Impact, Radio
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2014-08-11
Date in Caption 2014-07-08
Image Credit NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA18673
Identifier PIA18673