Northern Plains in Color
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Northern Plains in Color

June 28, 2011
  • Date Presented: June 16, 2011, at a NASA press conference
  • Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)

Of Interest: The top image shows an example of MESSENGER's color base map imaging campaign, which will collect global images acquired through eight filters between wavelengths of 430 and 1000 nm at an average resolution of 1.2 km/pixel. The northern plains are seen here to be distinctive in color and thus composition from the surrounding terrain. The mosaicked images are shown with the 1000, 750, and 430 nm images in red, green, and blue, respectively. The scene is centered at 73° N, 300° E.

In the bottom image, the same scene is shown after the application of a statistical method that highlights differences among the eight color filters, making variations in color and composition easier to discern.

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. Visit the Why Mercury? section of this website to learn more about the key science questions that the MESSENGER mission is addressing. During the one-year primary mission, MDIS is scheduled to acquire more than 75,000 images in support of MESSENGER's science goals.

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