Crystal Clear Images of Mercury look very Moon like

Mercury. Imaged by MESSENGER

Mercury. Imaged by MESSENGER Satellite.
Credit – NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

At a glance this extreamly crisp image may look like Earth’s Moon but it is actually Mercury. The image was taken by the MESSENGER satellites Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS). The picture was taken on April 23, 2013, allows us to take a step back to view the planet.  This image in particular highlights many basins near Mercury’s terminator, including Bach crater. Many craters with central peaks and the nearby bright rays of Han Kan crater are also evident.

Once per week, MDIS captures images of Mercury’s limb, with an emphasis on imaging the southern hemisphere limb. These limb images provide information about Mercury’s shape and complement measurements of topography made by the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) of Mercury’s northern hemisphere.

About the author

Recipient of many prestigious NASA Awards including the Exceptional Public Service Medal and the Robert H. Goddard award. Experience includes working for NASA, as a contractor, in satellite design, construction and operations. Expert in the satellite operations concepts and ground systems including command, control, and science data processing.