High-Resolution View from Mercury Flyby 3
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High-Resolution View from Mercury Flyby 3

February 9, 2011
  • Date Acquired: September 29, 2009
  • Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
  • Scale: The diameter of Mercury is 4880 kilometers (3030 miles)

Of Interest: This high-resolution mosaic of NAC images shows Mercury as it appeared to MESSENGER as the spacecraft approached the planet for the mission's third flyby of Mercury. This mosaic resembles one of the first images received back at Earth following that flyby and shows details of the Rachmaninoff basin and a nearby bright rimless depression that is a candidate site for an explosive volcanic vent. The MESSENGER mission is on track to again make new discoveries and in 38 days to become the first spacecraft ever to orbit Mercury.

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