PIA18726: A Quiet Night Thought

A Quiet Night Thought


The lower half of this image is dominated by the large, degraded crater Li Po. A Chinese poet of the Tang Dynasty who lived from 701 to 762, Li Po is also known as "Li Bai". He is famous for poems about friendship, nature, and the drinking of wine. It is said that he drowned when he reached from his boat, trying to catch the Moon's reflection in the river. Li's poem "A Quiet Night Thought" is reproduced below.

A Quiet Night Thought
In front of my bed, there is bright moonlight.
It appears to be frost on the ground.
I lift my head and gaze at the August Moon,
I lower my head and think of my hometown.

This image was acquired as part of MDIS's high-resolution stereo imaging campaign. Images from the stereo imaging campaign are used in combination with the surface morphology base map or the albedo base map to create high-resolution stereo views of Mercury's surface, with an average resolution of 200 meters/pixel. Viewing the surface under the same Sun illumination conditions but from two or more viewing angles enables information about the small-scale topography of Mercury's surface to be obtained.

Date acquired: October 29, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 228371401
Image ID: 945802
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filter: 7 (748 nanometers)
Center Latitude: 18.1°
Center Longitude: 324.2° E
Resolution: 153 meters/pixel
Scale: Li Po crater is about 115 km (71 mi.) in diameter
Incidence Angle: 78.6°
Emission Angle: 7.3°
Phase Angle: 78.7°
North is up 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. 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 Crater, Grayscale, Map, Moon, Radio
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2014-09-29
Date in Caption 2011-10-29
Image Credit NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA18726
Identifier PIA18726