Buy this Colorful Mercury 2 space photo.
High quality Mercury Messenger picture, slide, or Duratrans backlit transparency. NASA photograph PIA16852. Wide variety of sizes.
This colorful view of Mercury was produced by using images from the color base map imaging campaign during MESSENGER's
primary mission. These colors are not what Mercury would look like to the human eye, but rather the colors enhance the
chemical, mineralogical, and physical differences between the rocks that make up Mercury's surface.
Young crater rays, extending radially from fresh impact craters, appear light blue or white. Medium- and dark-blue areas are a
geologic unit of Mercury's crust known as the "low-reflectance material", thought to be rich in a dark, opaque mineral. Tan areas
are plains formed by eruption of highly fluid lavas. The crater in the upper right whose rays stretch across the planet is Hokusai.
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 one-year primary mission, MDIS acquired 88,746 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is now in a
year-long extended mission, during which plans call for the acquisition of more than 80,000 additional images to support
MESSENGER's science goals.
Image Addition Date: February 18, 2013
Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington