|As the MESSENGER spacecraft approached Mercury for its first flyby, the Narrow Angle Camera, part of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) instrument, acquired a series of images of the planet in support of spacecraft navigation. The nine images shown here were taken from January 9 to 13, 2008, as MESSENGER closed to between 2.7 million kilometers and 760,000 kilometers (1.7 million miles and 470,000 miles) from Mercury. These nine images can also be viewed in sequence, forming this movie. |
At the beginning of the image sequence, Mercury was no more than a bright crescent in the blackness of space. As MESSENGER drew closer, surface features began to be resolved. The image from January 13 (bottom right) has the highest spatial resolution of this sequence (20 kilometers/pixel, 12 miles/pixel). In this image, bright markings are visible, and impact craters can be seen near the terminator (the line between Mercury's day side, to the left, and the night side to the right).
During MESSENGER's closest pass by Mercury yesterday, January 14, 2008, extensive scientific observations were executed. Today, the last of these planned observations will be completed, and at noon EST, the spacecraft will begin to transmit the data gathered during the flyby to Earth. This exciting new dataset will be used to address fundamental questions about the origin and evolution of the planet Mercury and our solar system. Currently, the MESSENGER team is anxiously awaiting the arrival of this dataset.
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Keeping a Rendezvous with Mercury
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- As you can see....
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- Mercury's Violent History
- Mercury - Double Ring Crater
- Mercury - The Great Caloris Basin on Mercury
- Mercury - Topographic Close-up
- Mercury Surface Spectra
- Seeking Information on Mercury’s Mineralogy
- Mercury’s Hydrogen Tail
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- For those Ann Coulter fans out there
- Now you just know I had to post this one....
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- Mercury Shows Its True Colors
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- First Laser Altimetry for Mercury
- MESSENGER Mission News - 30 January 2008
- MESSENGER Mission News - 29 January 2008
- MESSENGER's Departing Shots
- I love Winter.
- A Closer Look at the Previously Unseen Side
- Mercury's Long Cliffs
- MESSENGER Looks to the North
- Picture perfect - Forest Park, St. Louis
- MESSENGER Mission News
- MESSENGER's Different Views
- Bone CHilling Cold
- Counting Mercury's Craters
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- MESSENGER Dances by Matisse
- First MESSENGER Spectrum of Mercury
- Mercury - in Color!
- The Dick Cheney one is PRICELESS
- Is today the worst day of the year?
- Looking Toward the South Pole of Mercury
- MESSENGER Mission News - January 21, 2008
- News from your bartender.
- Ridges and Cliffs on Mercury's Surface
- MESSENGER Views an Intriguing Crater
- MESSENGER Mission News - January 20. 2008
- First Results from the Mercury Laser Altimeter
- MESSENGER’s First Image after Closest Approach
- MESSENGER Mission News - January 19, 2008
- Another in honor of Martin
- An Overview of Mercury as MISSENGER Approached
- Mercury's Complex Cratering History
- MESSENGER Mission News - January 18, 2008
- MESSENGER Views Mercury’s Horizon
- MESSENGER Mission News - January 17, 2008
- MESSENGER Reveals Mercury's Geological History - R...
- Corporations are EVIL
- MESSENGER Reveals Mercury in New Detail
- Detailed Close-up of Mercury's Previously Unseen S...
- Mercury's Cratered Surface
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- MESSENGER Mission News - January 15, 2008
- In Honor of Martin.....
- 31 Similarties Between Hitler and President Bush
- Keeping a Rendezvous with Mercury
- Installing Husband 1.0
- Disney Humor - R rated
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- MESSENGER Mission News (Post Flyby Update)
- Today MESSENGER Flies by Mercury!
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- MESSENGER News from CBS
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- MESSENGER First Picture!
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- Storm comming in.
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- Friday 5 Time Travel.
- Busy day.
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- Just a couple more toons....
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- Wish list for 2008
- My favorite Quotes.
- Benson, its your turn now.....
- Niven's Laws.
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