Wednesday, June 25, 2008

MESSENGER Mission News - By Dawn's Early Light

By Dawn's Early Light
Release Date:
June 23, 2008

Date Acquired: January 14, 2008
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 108830334
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Resolution: 0.8 kilometers/pixel (0.5 miles/pixel)
Scale: The width of this image is about 800 kilometers (500 miles)
Spacecraft Altitude: 30,700 kilometers (19,100 miles)

Of Interest: About 91 minutes after MESSENGER’s closest pass by the planet, MDIS acquired this image of Mercury’s northern surface, which is one in a set of 48 that form a mosaic of the departing planet. In this image, the left portion of the surface fades into darkness at the terminator, the line between the sunlit dayside of the planet and the dark night side. The left-side portions of the surface that are just coming out of the darkness are being hit with the first rays of morning sunlight. Some of the surface to the right of this scene can be viewed in this previously released image looking toward Mercury’s north pole.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

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