This stunning limb view includes the northeastern portion of the Caloris basin in the foreground. Poe crater, a large, dark-rimmed crater, lies along the lower left edge of the image. Ailey crater's bright rays can be seen towards the center of the image. Balanchine crater's hollow-covered floor is located near the lower right corner of the image.
This image was acquired as part of a color context image for a VIRS targeted transect. Targeted color observations are images of a small area on Mercury's surface at resolutions higher than the 1-kilometer/pixel 8-color base map. During MESSENGER's one-year primary mission, hundreds of targeted color observations were obtained. During MESSENGER's extended mission, high-resolution targeted color observations are more rare, as the 3-color base map covered Mercury's northern hemisphere with the highest-resolution color images that are possible.
Date acquired: October 18, 2014
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 55992969
Image ID: 7269995
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filter: 7 (748 nanometers)
Center Latitude: 44.95°
Center Longitude: 177.2° E
Resolution: 472 meters/pixel
Scale: Poe crater is approximately 85 km (~53 mi.) in diameter.
Incidence Angle: 45.0°
Emission Angle: 77.7°
Phase Angle: 80.2°
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.