Click to enlargeMessenger Mercury's Colorful Limb Photo

Buy this Mercury's Colorful Limb space photo. High quality Mercury Messenger picture, slide, or Duratrans backlit transparency. NASA photograph PIA14190. Wide variety of sizes.

The bright rays of Hokusai crater can be seen crossing the surface from north to south. This color image, with the central wavelengths of 1000 nm, 750 nm, and 430 nm displayed in red, green, and blue, respectively, also highlights some of the subtle color variations observed on Mercury. Spectral variations can be due to differences in particle size, duration of time exposed on surface, or composition. The MESSENGER team is working hard to unravel the complicated story contained in these beautiful color images.

On March 17, 2011 (March 18, 2011, UTC), MESSENGER became the first spacecraft ever to orbit the planet Mercury. The mission is currently in its commissioning phase, during which spacecraft and instrument performance are verified through a series of specially designed checkout activities. In the course of the one-year primary mission, the spacecraft's seven scientific instruments and radio science investigation will unravel the history and evolution of the Solar System's innermost planet.

Image Addition Date: March 31, 2011
Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington


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