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Zusammenstellung ausgewählter Bilder zum Merkur, die um weiterführenden Links mit der Möglichkeit des Downloads ergänzt wurden.

  • Globales Mosaik in Echtfarbe aus Entfernungen von 12.800 bis 16.700 km

    Globales Mosaik in Echtfarbe aus Entfernungen von 12.800 bis 16.700 km

    MESSENGER's Wide Angle Camera (WAC), part of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS), is equipped with 11 narrow-band color filters. As the spacecraft receded from Mercury after making its closest approach on January 14, 2008, the WAC recorded a 3x3 mosaic covering part of the planet not previously seen by spacecraft. The color image shown here was generated by combining the mosaics taken through the WAC filters that transmit light at wavelengths of 1000 nanometers (infrared), 700 nanometers (far red), and 430 nanometers (violet). These three images were placed in the red, green, and blue channels, respectively, to create the visualization presented here. The human eye is sensitive only across the wavelength range from about 400 to 700 nanometers. Creating a false-color image in this way accentuates color differences on Mercury's surface that cannot be seen in black-and-white (single-color) images.

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

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  • Merkur, zwei Krater mit dunklen Rändern und partieller

    Merkur, zwei Krater mit dunklen Rändern und partieller "Halo" aus dunklem Material in direkter Umgebung

    As MESSENGER flew by Mercury, the Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) captured this view on January 14, 2008. Two of the larger craters in this image appear to have darkened crater rims and partial "halos" of dark material immediately surrounding the craters. Both craters appear to have nearly complete rims and interior terraced walls, suggesting that they formed more recently than the other nearby shallower craters of similar size. There are two possible explanations for their dark halos: (1) Darker subsurface material may have been excavated during the explosions from the asteroid or comet impacts that produced the craters. (2) Large cratering explosions may have melted a fraction of the rocky surface material involved in the explosions, splashing so-called "impact melts" across the surface; such melted rock is often darker (lower albedo) than the pre-impact target material. In either case, the association of the dark material with relatively recently formed craters suggests that the processes that gradually homogenize Mercury's surface materials have not yet had time to reduce the contrast of these dark halos. The crater with associated dark material in the lower-left part of this image is about 100 km (60 miles) in diameter, and the crater with patches of dark material in the upper right is about 70 km (40 miles) across. These dark-halo craters, located near Mercury's south pole, are also visible in the previously released false-color image created from three Wide Angle Camera (WAC) frames (see PIA10398).

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

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  • Merkur, Caloris-Becken in Falschfarben

    Merkur, Caloris-Becken in Falschfarben

    This false-color image of Mercury, recently published in Science magazine, shows the great Caloris impact basin (see PIA10383), visible in this image as a large, circular, orange feature in the center of the picture. The contrast between the colors of the Caloris basin floor and those of the surrounding plains indicate that the composition of Mercury's surface is variable. Many additional geological features with intriguing color signatures can be identified in this image. For example, the bright orange spots just inside the rim of Caloris basin are thought to mark the location of volcanic features, such as the volcano shown in this previously released Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) image (see PIA10942). MESSENGER Science Team members are studying these regional color variations in detail, to determine the different mineral compositions of Mercury's surface and to understand the geologic processes that have acted on it. Images taken through the 11 different WAC color filters were used to create this false-color image. The 11 different color images were compared and contrasted using statistical methods to isolate and enhance subtle color differences on Mercury's surface.

    Bild: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Arizona State University/Carnegie Institution of Washington. Image reproduced courtesy of Science/AAAS.

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  • Radial verlaufende Gräben von Pantheon Fossae im Caloris-Becken

    Radial verlaufende Gräben von Pantheon Fossae im Caloris-Becken

    "The spider" now has an official name: Pantheon Fossae. As first presented at the NASA press conference on January 30 (see PIA10397), when MESSENGER flew by Mercury on January 14, 2008, the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) snapped images of an intriguing and previously unknown feature on the surface of Mercury. Near the center of the Caloris basin, a set of troughs (called graben by geologists) was observed to radiate outward in a pattern unlike anything ever seen on Mercury. The Science Team nicknamed this unique feature "the spider." The International Astronomical Union (IAU) recently approved the official name of Pantheon Fossae, as detailed in the MESSENGER press release issued last week.

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

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  • Großer Doppelringkrater

    Großer Doppelringkrater

    This scene was imaged by MESSENGER's Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) on the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) during the spacecraft's flyby of Mercury on January 14, 2008. For this image, the Sun is illuminating the scene from the top and north is to the left.

    The outer diameter of the large double ring crater at the center of the scene is about 260 km. The crater appears to be filled with smooth plains material that may be volcanic in nature. Multiple chains of smaller secondary craters are also seen extending radially outward from the double ring crater. Double or multiple rings form in craters with very large diameters, often referred to as impact basins. On Mercury, double ring basins begin to form when the crater diameter exceeds about 200 km; at such an onset diameter the inner rings are typically low, partial, or discontinuous. The transition diameter at which craters begin to form rings is not the same on all bodies and, although it depends primarily on the surface gravity of the planet or moon, the transition diameter can also reveal important information about the physical characteristics of surface materials. Studying impact craters, such as this one, in the more than 1200 images returned from this flyby will provide clues to the physical properties of Mercury's surface and its geological history.

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

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  • Vulkan am Rand des Caloris-Beckens aus 10.500 km Entfernung

    Vulkan am Rand des Caloris-Beckens aus 10.500 km Entfernung

    As reported in the July 4, 2008 issue of Science magazine, volcanoes have been discovered on Mercury’s surface from images acquired during MESSENGER’s first Mercury flyby. This image shows the largest feature identified as a volcano in the upper center of the scene. The volcano has a central kidney-shaped depression, which is the vent, and a broad smooth dome surrounding the vent. The volcano is located just inside the rim of the Caloris impact basin. The rim of the basin is marked with hills and mountains, as visible in this image. The role of volcanism in Mercury’s history had been previously debated, but MESSENGER’s discovery of the first identified volcanoes on Mercury’s surface shows that volcanism was active in the distant past on the innermost planet.

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

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  • Doppelringkrater Vivaldi bei Sonnenaufgang

    Doppelringkrater Vivaldi bei Sonnenaufgang

    One of the more dramatic craters seen by MESSENGER during its first flyby of Mercury this past January was Vivaldi (see PIA10175). Right at the day/night terminator, the crater was slipping away into darkness as Mercury slowly rotated. Two days ago, MESSENGER made its second flyby of the innermost planet, and once again captured a view of Vivaldi, this time at sunrise. Long shadows are draped across the floor of this feature, which is actually considered a “small” double-ring basin despite having a diameter of 213 kilometers (133 miles). The low Sun illumination also highlights ridges, valleys, and chains of craters radiating away from Vivaldi.

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

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  • Merkur, vier globale Ansichten in verschiedenen Verarbeitungen

    Merkur, vier globale Ansichten in verschiedenen Verarbeitungen

    Given the WAC’s ability to take images through 11 narrow-band color filters, it is natural to wonder what does Mercury look like in “true” color such as would be seen by the human eye. However, creating such a natural color view is not as simple as it may seem. Shown here are four images of Mercury. The image in the top left is the previously released grayscale monochrome single WAC filter (430-nanometer) image (PIA11245); the remaining three images are three-color composites, produced by placing the same three WAC filter images with peak sensitivities at 480, 560, and 630 nanometers in the blue, green, and red channels, respectively. The differences between the color representations result from how the brightness and contrast of each individual WAC filter image was adjusted before it was combined into a color picture. In the top right view, all of the three filter images were stretched using the same brightness and contrast settings. In the bottom left picture, the brightness and contrast of each of the three filter images were determined independent of the others. In the bottom right, the brightness and contrast settings used in the upper right version were slightly adjusted to make each of the three filter images span a similar range of brightness and contrast values.

    So which color representation is “correct” for Mercury? The answer to that would indeed depend on the eye of the beholder. Every individual sees color differently; the human eye has a range of sensitivities that vary from person to person, resulting in different perceptions of “true” color. In addition, the three MDIS filter bands are narrow, and light at wavelengths between their peaks is not detected, unlike the human eye. In general, in light visible to the human eye, Mercury’s surface shows only very subtle color variations, as seen in the three images here. However, when images from all 11 WAC filters are statistically compared and contrasted, these subtle color variations can be greatly enhanced, resulting in extremely colorful representations of Mercury’s surface, such as seen in a high-resolution image of Thākur crater (PIA11365).

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

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  • Zwei globale Ansichten des Merkur in Echt- und Falschfarben

    Zwei globale Ansichten des Merkur in Echt- und Falschfarben

    The Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) has 11 narrow-band spectral filters covering visible and near-infrared wavelengths (400 to 1050 nm). The specific colors of the filters were selected to discriminate among common minerals. Three-color images (480 nm, 560 nm, 630 nm) were combined to produce an approximation of Mercury’s true color as might be seen by the human eye (left) (see PIA11364). From this rendition of Mercury it is obvious that color differences on the surface are slight. Statistical methods that utilize all 11 filters in the visible and near-infrared highlight subtle color differences (right) and aid geologists in mapping regions of different composition. What do the exaggerated colors tell us about Mercury? The nature of color boundaries, color trends, and brightness values help MESSENGER geologists understand the discrete regions (or “units”) on the surface. From the color images alone it is not possible to determine unambiguously the minerals that comprise the rocks of each unit. During the brief flybys, MESSENGER’s other instruments sensitive to composition lack the time needed to build up adequate signal or gain broad areal coverage, so only MESSENGER’s cameras were able to acquire comprehensive measurements. Once in obit about Mercury, MESSENGER’s full suite of instruments will be brought to bear on the newly discovered color units to unlock their secrets.

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

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  • Gebiet mit Krater Rudaki in hoher Auflösung bei 4° S und 310° O, farbverstärkt

    Gebiet mit Krater Rudaki in hoher Auflösung bei 4° S und 310° O, farbverstärkt

    After MESSENGER made its closest approach to Mercury, flying just 200 kilometers (124 miles) above the surface, and as soon as the sunlit side of Mercury was fully in view, MDIS captured the highest-resolution color images ever obtained of Mercury (500 meters/pixel (0.3 miles/pixel)). This area was also seen by Mariner 10, whose lower-resolution two-color images hinted at the variety and nature of regions of different colors, and hence composition, on Mercury. Viewed here at high-resolution and in enhanced color, the relationship between the relatively young smooth plains on the left and older, dark blue material on the right is clear. The younger smooth plains cover the lower parts of rougher pre-existing topography and infill older craters, like the 120-kilometer (75-mile) diameter Rudaki crater lower-left of center (see PIA11400). Dark, relatively blue material was ejected from the 105-kilometer (65-mile) diameter crater on the right side of the image, covering older smooth plains. A relatively young, small crater then excavated through this blue material to reveal the smooth plains beneath. This scene is centered at 4° South, 310° East and is outlined by a white rectangle on the enhanced color equatorial view of the side of Mercury seen during MESSENGER’s second Mercury flyby (see PIA11411).

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

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  • Merkur, Krater Rudaki in Echtfarbe und farbverstärkt

    Merkur, Krater Rudaki in Echtfarbe und farbverstärkt

    Last week, MESSENGER team members presented the results from four papers published in the 1 May issue of Science magazine at a NASA media teleconference. The color views shown here of the plains near Rudaki crater was just one of the graphics presented at that teleconference. The left image was created by combining WAC images from three narrow-band color filters to approximate Mercury's color as it would be seen by the human eye. The right image used a statistical analysis of all 11 WAC filters to highlight subtle color differences on the surface, as has been used for many previous releases, such as ones focused on Thākur crater and Caloris basin. Click here to read more about this graphic and see others presented at the NASA media teleconference.

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

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  • Krater Praxiteles, Kombination von hoher Auflösung und Farbe, farbverstärkt

    Krater Praxiteles, Kombination von hoher Auflösung und Farbe, farbverstärkt

    MESSENGER's high-resolution images obtained during the mission's second Mercury flyby have revealed a number of irregularly shaped depressions on the floor of Praxiteles crater. These depressions are intriguing indications of possible past volcanic activity within this crater. View the previously released NAC image of Praxiteles for additional discussion.

    The image shown here is similar to one recently published in the 1 May issue of Science magazine. This image was created by first mosaicking together the highest-resolution NAC images available of Praxiteles, to produce complete coverage of the crater. Independently, an enhanced-color image of Praxiteles was created by using images from all 11 WAC narrow-band color filters. The WAC images provide important color information, but the WAC resolution is considerably less than that of the mosaicked NAC images. Thus, by overlaying a slightly transparent version of the WAC enhanced-color image on the high-resolution NAC mosaic, the high-resolution color view of Praxiteles crater shown here was produced. This overlay-color view helps associate the color features with the morphologic surface features. The fact that the irregularly shaped depressions on the floor of Praxiteles are associated with bright orange and yellow color features provides evidence that the depressions may be related to past volcanic activity in this area of Mercury.

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

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  • Markante Böschung durch einen Krater, kartenprojiziert

    Markante Böschung durch einen Krater, kartenprojiziert

    The scarp cutting through this crater was imaged as MESSENGER approached the planet during the mission's second Mercury flyby. The full NAC image acquired by MDIS is shown in a previous release (PIA11772) while the image shown here is a reprojected view. Compare the two images to see the differences.

    By using very precise knowledge about the time that the image was taken and the location of the spacecraft at that time, the original image can be mapped onto a globe of Mercury. Once mapped onto a Mercury globe, that globe can be viewed in many different ways, including reprojections that create flat maps of Mercury's surface, as seen in this global map of Mercury (PIA11403). The reprojected image shown here is from a simple cylindrical map projection. Map projections are needed to measure accurately the extent of features on the surface. For example, from this reprojection it was determined that this scarp is about 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) high and over 160 kilometers (100 miles) in length. MESSENGER Science Team members recently published an image similar to this reprojection in Science magazine.

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

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  • Einschlagbecken mit Doppelringstruktur und einem Durchmesser von etwa 260 km

    Einschlagbecken mit Doppelringstruktur und einem Durchmesser von etwa 260 km

    This unnamed impact basin was seen for the first time yesterday during MESSENGER's third flyby of Mercury. The outer diameter of the basin is approximately 260 kilometers (160 miles). This basin has a double-ring structure common to basins with diameters larger than 200 kilometers (about 125 miles). The floor of the basin consists of smooth plains material. Concentric troughs, formed by surface extension, are visible on the basin floor, similar to those seen in Raditladi basin. Such troughs are rare on Mercury, and the discovery of such features in this newly imaged basin is of great interest to members of the MESSENGER Science Team. Crater chains produced during ejecta emplacement also can be seen emanating from the basin.

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

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  • Inneres des Kraters Sander mit flachen unregelmäßigen hellen Vertiefungen in hoher Auflösung

    Inneres des Kraters Sander mit flachen unregelmäßigen hellen Vertiefungen in hoher Auflösung

    This high-resolution, targeted image of Sander crater reveals that the bright portions of the floor consist of large numbers of shallow irregular depressions ("hollows"), giving an etched appearance to the surface.

    This image of Sander has about 10 times better pixel resolution than the one obtained during MESSSENGER's first Mercury flyby.

    Bild: Courtesy of AAAS/Science

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  • Teil der glatten nördlichen Ebenen in Farbe

    Teil der glatten nördlichen Ebenen in Farbe

    The X-Ray Spectrometer (XRS) on MESSENGER collects compositional information for relatively large regions on Mercury's surface, and strong signals are only received during times of high solar activity. The blue region outlined in this wide-angle camera image mosaic shows the region visible to the XRS during a solar flare on 16 April 2011. The XRS data indicates that the area is basaltic in composition, the same type of volcanic rock that comprises the lunar maria. This region is part of the vast, high-reflectance northern plains that cover approximately 6% of Mercury's surface. The 1000, 750, and 430 nm bands of the Wide Angle Camera are displayed in red, green, and blue, respectively.

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

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  • Zwei globale Mosaike nach dem ersten Merkurtag in schwarzweiß und Farbe

    Zwei globale Mosaike nach dem ersten Merkurtag in schwarzweiß und Farbe

    After its first Mercury solar day (176 Earth days) in orbit, MESSENGER has nearly completed two of its main global imaging campaigns: a monochrome map at 250 m/pixel and an eight-color, 1-km/pixel color map. Apart from small gaps, which will be filled in during the next solar day, these global maps now provide uniform lighting conditions ideal for assessing the form of Mercury's surface features as well as the color and compositional variations across the planet. The orthographic views seen here, centered at 75° E longitude, are each mosaics of thousands of individual images. At right, images taken through the wide-angle camera filters at 1000, 750, and 430 nm wavelength are displayed in red, green, and blue, respectively.

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

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  • Hell umrandete Mulden an den Zentralbergen des Kraters Eminescu

    Hell umrandete Mulden an den Zentralbergen des Kraters Eminescu

    The central peaks of Eminescu are revealed here at high resolution, showing off an impressive collection of hollows. Some of these hollows have coalesced into larger formations. North is down in this image.

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

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  • Mehrere Krater, die in ihrer Anordung einer Micky Maus ähneln

    Mehrere Krater, die in ihrer Anordung einer Micky Maus ähneln

    This scene is to the northwest of the recently named crater Magritte, in Mercury's south. The image is not map projected; the larger crater actually sits to the north of the two smaller ones. The shadowing helps define the striking "Mickey Mouse" resemblance, created by the accumulation of craters over Mercury's long geologic history.

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

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  • Krater Degas am Planetenrand bei 35,98° N und 231,2° O

    Krater Degas am Planetenrand bei 35,98° N und 231,2° O

    Though many craters are visible in this color view of Mercury's limb, Degas gets noticed. Located near the center of the image, the distinctive blue color of the low-reflectance material associated with Degas contrasts with the surrounding terrain and neighboring craters. View these previously posted web images to see Degas in high-resolution with the Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) or in high-resolution color with the WAC.

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

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  • Komplexer Krater Bartok bei 28,34° S und 225,3° O

    Komplexer Krater Bartok bei 28,34° S und 225,3° O

    This NAC image gives us an excellent view of the complex crater Bartok. Some of its most prominent features are the areas of bright material, as well as the central peaks and terraced walls. These features, combined with the fact that Bartok's eject blanket appears to cover much of the surrounding area, indicate that Bartok is younger than most of the neighboring terrain (but older than the two small craters to its left and right, as they fall on top of the crater's ejecta blanket and rim, respectively).

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

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  • Perspektivischer Blick über den Norden mit farbkodierter Höhe bei 280° O

    Perspektivischer Blick über den Norden mit farbkodierter Höhe bei 280° O

    This image shows a perspective view, looking towards Mercury's north and colorized by the topographic height of the surface. The purple colors are the lowest and white is the highest. As shown in this previous release, the total dynamical range of the height variation measured on Mercury is roughly 10 km. The craters Rubens and Monteverdi, with diameters of 159 km and 134 km respectively, are located near the middle of this view. Mercury's expansive northern plains, extending off the upper limb of the planet in this image, have a lower height relative to the neighboring surface.

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

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  • Kleiner Krater mit zahlreichen Mulden, bei 41,24° N und 123,8° O

    Kleiner Krater mit zahlreichen Mulden, bei 41,24° N und 123,8° O

    This small crater possess some quality that makes it a haven for hollows. Hollows cover large regions of the crater's floor, as seen at Tyagaraja. Hollows also are located near the crater's rim and on material slumping down the crater's wall.

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

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  • Krater Bek mit blauen Strahlen, farbverstärkt, bei 21,31° N und 308,8° O

    Krater Bek mit blauen Strahlen, farbverstärkt, bei 21,31° N und 308,8° O

    The beautiful blue rays of Bek dominate this scene, covering nearby craters with wisps of fresh material. Lermontov crater, seen at the bottom of the image, is thought to have been the site of explosive volcanic eruptions.

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

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  • Globale Ansicht des Merkur in Falschfarben bei 140° O

    Globale Ansicht des Merkur in Falschfarben bei 140° O

    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 giant Caloris basin is the large circular tan feature located just to the upper right of center of the image.

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

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  • Schrägansicht auf die Oberfläche mit den Kratern Balzac, Phidias, Tyagaraja, Stevenson und Zeami bei 4,64° N und 210,5° O

    Schrägansicht auf die Oberfläche mit den Kratern Balzac, Phidias, Tyagaraja, Stevenson und Zeami bei 4,64° N und 210,5° O

    This oblique view highlights, from top to bottom, Balzac, Phidias,Tyagaraja, Stevenson, and Zeami craters. While named craters are still sparse across much of Mercury, this region was observed by Mariner 10, allowing for plenty of time to propose names. In Mariner 10 images of Mercury, craters like Tyagaraja and Zeami were described as hosting bright floor deposits, but the relatively low resolution at which they were imaged did not allow for a more detailed analysis. We now know that craters such as these host hollows (see the links above for higher resolution images of each crater in this scene).

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

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  • Merkur, farbverstärkte globale Karte in einfacher zylindrischer Projektion

    Merkur, farbverstärkte globale Karte in einfacher zylindrischer Projektion

    This colorful view of Mercury is similar to that used to generate a movie of Mercury as a spinning globe, and these two individual views (centered at 140°E and 320°E) of the innermost planet. The enhanced color view is overlaid on the global monochrome base map.

    The enhanced color 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. This specific color combination places the second principal component in the red channel, the first principal component in the green channel, and the ratio of the 430 nm/1000 nm filters in the blue channel.

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

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  • Ringbecken Scarlatti in Farbe bei 40,7° N und 258,9° O

    Ringbecken Scarlatti in Farbe bei 40,7° N und 258,9° O

    The peak-ring basin Scarlatti is seen at the center of this image. While Scarlatti has a typical peak ring in many respects, in the northeast section it transitions to a large (approximately 30 km) pit surrounded by high-reflectance material. This pit may be the site of past explosive volcanic activity.

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

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  • Rand eines Kraters im Detail bei 54,58° N und 314,68° O

    Rand eines Kraters im Detail bei 54,58° N und 314,68° O

    MESSENGER captured this image as the spacecraft sped roughly 720 km above the surface. The wall of a 45-km-diameter crater shows well-preserved terraces, common for complex craters that are geologically young. Keep in mind though, that the last billion years can be taken to mean "relatively young" when talking about Mercury's surface!

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

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  • Mosaik des Caloris-Beckens  bei 31,5° N und 162,7° O, farbverstärkt

    Mosaik des Caloris-Beckens bei 31,5° N und 162,7° O, farbverstärkt

    This mosaic of Caloris basin is an enhanced-color composite overlain on a monochrome mosaic featured in a previous post. The color mosaic is made up of WAC images obtained when both the spacecraft and the Sun were overhead, conditions best for discerning variations in albedo, or brightness. The monochrome mosaic is made up of WAC and NAC images obtained at off-vertical Sun angles (i.e., high incidence angles) and with visible shadows so as to reveal clearly the topographic form of geologic features. The combination of the two datasets allows the correlation of geologic features with their color properties. In portions of the scene, color differences from image to image are apparent. Ongoing calibration efforts by the MESSENGER team strive to minimize these differences.

    Caloris basin has been flooded by lavas that appear orange in this mosaic. Post-flooding craters have excavated material from beneath the surface. The larger of these craters have exposed low-reflectance material (blue in this mosaic) from beneath the surface lavas, likely giving a glimpse of the original basin floor material. Analysis of these craters yields an estimate of the thickness of the volcanic layer: 2.5-3.5 km.

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

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  • Helle Mulden im Westteil des Kraters Zeami bei 3,0° S und 211,8° O

    Helle Mulden im Westteil des Kraters Zeami bei 3,0° S und 211,8° O

    Mercury's hollows are among its most distinctive -- and unusual -- surface features. In this stunning view, we see a field of hollows in the western portion of the floor of Zeami impact basin. Hollows populate much of the rest of the basin's interior, with large concentrations several kilometers across occurring in the north and northeast parts of the floor. Individual hollows, however, can be as small as a couple of hundred meters in width.

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

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  • Krater Apollodorus umgeben von den Pantheon Fossae bei 39,1° N und 164,3° O

    Krater Apollodorus umgeben von den Pantheon Fossae bei 39,1° N und 164,3° O

    One of the most captivating views acquired during MESSENGER's first Mercury flyby was of the crater Apollodorus surrounded by the radiating troughs of Pantheon Fossae. The team nicknamed the combined feature as "the spider." Since then, MESSENGER has acquired many other striking views of this unique feature located near the center of Caloris basin. Although Apollodorus of Damascus (the namesake of the crater) is thought to be the architect of the Pantheon in Rome (the namesake of the fossae), the crater Apollodorus is thought to be unrelated to the creation of Pantheon Fossae.

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

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  • Krater Duccio, geschnitten von Carnegie Rupes bei 57,1° N und 304,0° O, Perspektive mit farbkodierter Höhe

    Krater Duccio, geschnitten von Carnegie Rupes bei 57,1° N und 304,0° O, Perspektive mit farbkodierter Höhe

    This image provides a perspective view of the center portion of Carnegie Rupes, a large tectonic landform, which cuts through Duccio crater. The image shows the terrain (variations in topography) as measured by the MLA instrument and surface mapped by the MDIS instrument. The image was color-coded to highlight the variations in topography (red = high standing terrain, blue = low lying terrain). Tectonic landforms such as Carnegie Rupes form on Mercury as a response to interior planetary cooling, resulting in the overall shrinking of the planet. To make this graphic, 48 individual MDIS images were used as part of the mosaic.

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

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