Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

MESSENGER sends back first image of Mercury from orbit

Date:
March 30, 2011
Source:
MESSENGER Web Site/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Summary:
NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft has captured a historic image of the planet Mercury. The image is the first ever obtained from a spacecraft in orbit about the Solar System's innermost planet. Over the subsequent six hours, MESSENGER acquired an additional 363 images before downlinking some of the data to Earth. The MESSENGER team is currently looking over the newly returned data, which are still continuing to come down.

At 5:20 am EDT on Mar. 29, 2011, MESSENGER captured this historic image of Mercury.
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

On March 29, 2011, at 5:20 am EDT, MESSENGER captured a historic image of Mercury. The image is the first ever obtained from a spacecraft in orbit about the Solar System's innermost planet. Over the subsequent six hours, MESSENGER acquired an additional 363 images before downlinking some of the data to Earth. The MESSENGER team is currently looking over the newly returned data, which are still continuing to come down.

Related Articles


The dominant rayed crater in the upper portion of the image is Debussy. The smaller crater Matabei with its unusual dark rays is visible to the west of Debussy. The bottom portion of the image is near Mercury's south pole and includes a region of Mercury's surface not previously seen by spacecraft.

Over the next three days, MESSENGER will acquire 1185 additional images in support of MDIS commissioning-phase activities. The year-long primary science phase of the mission will begin on April 4, and the orbital observation plan calls for MDIS to acquire more than 75,000 images in support of MESSENGER's science goals.

On March 17, 2011 (March 18, 2011, UTC), MESSENGER became the first spacecraft 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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by MESSENGER Web Site/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

MESSENGER Web Site/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. "MESSENGER sends back first image of Mercury from orbit." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110330092723.htm>.
MESSENGER Web Site/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. (2011, March 30). MESSENGER sends back first image of Mercury from orbit. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110330092723.htm
MESSENGER Web Site/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. "MESSENGER sends back first image of Mercury from orbit." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110330092723.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Universe Could Be Full Of Tatooine Sunsets

The Universe Could Be Full Of Tatooine Sunsets

Newsy (Mar. 30, 2015) University of Utah researchers say mathematical simulations show small, rocky planets, like Tatooine from "Star Wars," can form in dual-star systems. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What NASA Wants To Learn From Its 'Year In Space' Tests

What NASA Wants To Learn From Its 'Year In Space' Tests

Newsy (Mar. 28, 2015) Astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko will spend a year in space running tests on human physiology and psychology. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Astronauts Arrive at ISS for 1-Year Mission

Raw: Astronauts Arrive at ISS for 1-Year Mission

AP (Mar. 28, 2015) The capsule carrying a Russian and an American who are to spend a year away from Earth docked Saturday with the International Space Station. (March 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crew Starts One-Year Space Mission

Crew Starts One-Year Space Mission

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 28, 2015) Russian-U.S. crew arrives safely at the International Space Station for the start of a ground-breaking year-long stay. Paul Chapman reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins