PIA18689: Crossing Paths

Crossing Paths


Today's image shows an area in Mercury's northern latitudes crossed by a series of MASCS VIRS tracks displayed as a color composite , overlain on a MDIS base map mosaic. Craters Verdi and Janáček reside in this area, along with several unnamed craters. The VIRS footprints are smaller, each covering less area, in the northern hemisphere due to MESSENGER's elliptical orbit .

The VIRS composite shows hundreds of individual footprints tracks (minimum 100-200 m across and 3-4 km long) taken from different directions and altitudes. In locations where multiple footprints cover the same area, the footprint with the best illumination for mineralogical interpretation (usually the lowest incidence angle where shadows are minimized) is used for making the map. In the MDIS mosaic, some brightness variations are due to tiling of images taken at different illuminations.

Date Created: July 27, 2014
Instruments: Visible and Infrared Spectrograph (VIRS) of the Mercury Atmosphere and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS) and Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
VIRS Color Composite Wavelengths: 575 nm as red, 415 nm/750 nm as green, 310 nm/390 nm as blue
Center Latitude: 57.7°
Center Longitude: 197.5° E
Resolution: 1 km/pixel
Scale: Verdi (top left) crater is 145 km (90 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. 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 Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS) Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Extra Keywords Atmosphere, Color, Crater, Infrared, Map, Radio, Shadow
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2014-08-25
Date in Caption 2014-07-27
Image Credit NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA18689
Identifier PIA18689