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The Amazing Rays
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The Amazing Rays

April 1, 2013
Release Date: March 26, 2013 Topics: Crater Rays, Named Craters, WAC Date acquired: March 03, 2013 Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 4620855 Image ID: 3622493 Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) WAC filter: 7 (748 nanometers) Center Latitude: -18.53° Center Longitude: 19.80° E Resolution: 449 meters/pixel Scale: This scene is approximately 570 km (354 mi.) across Incidence Angle: 31.7° Emission Angle: 51.4° Phase Angle: 28.0° North is up in this image. Of Interest: Even when they're not in the picture, craters Debussy and Berkel still leave their mark. The rays of Debussy, outside of the image to the southwest, and Berkel to the northeast, cross the scene. This image was acquired as a high-resolution targeted color observation. 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. 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. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington