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Over the Hills
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Over the Hills

December 31, 2013
Release Date: December 30, 2013 Topics: NAC Date acquired: November 12, 2013 Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 26543484 Image ID: 5181047 Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) Center Latitude: 67.11° Center Longitude: 249.8° E Resolution: 11 meters/pixel Scale: This image is 14.6 kilometers (9.1 miles) across Incidence Angle: 82.0° Emission Angle: 36.9° Phase Angle: 118.9° Of Interest: With the Sun low on the horizon, shadows accentuate the hilly nature of this terrain. This surface has been battered by repeated impacts for billions of years, creating the hilly surface that exists today. As a previous featured image of a nearby area put it, Mercury has been a "planetary punching bag." This image was acquired as a high-resolution targeted observation. Targeted observations are images of a small area on Mercury's surface at resolutions much higher than the 200-meter/pixel morphology base map. It is not possible to cover all of Mercury's surface at this high resolution, but typically several areas of high scientific interest are imaged in this mode each week. 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