MESSENGER Explores Mercury - In Color
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MESSENGER Explores Mercury - In Color!

January 26, 2011
  • Date Acquired: October 6, 2008
  • Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)

Of Interest: During MESSENGER's second flyby of Mercury, MDIS acquired a strip of high-resolution images obtained with each of the WAC's 11 different color filters. The graphic shown here displays the resulting enhanced-color mosaic and gives considerable detail about the images, how the mosaic was created, and the geologic features that can be seen.

Currently, these images are the highest-resolution color images ever obtained of the Solar System's innermost planet, but not for long! On March 18, 2011, MESSENGER will enter into orbit about Mercury, and the mission's extensive, year-long science observation campaign will begin. That campaign includes capturing color images of Mercury's surface at higher resolution than ever before.

To view the WAC mosaic without any overlying text labels, click here. Special thanks to Kathryn Powell, a summer intern student with the MESSENGER project, for contributing to the content of this graphic. Note: since the original creation of this graphic, the crater identified in the upper right with the label "young rayed crater" has been named Dominici. Click here to learn more about this recently named crater.

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