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Mercury News – Messenger Spacecraft

Mercury.

First Image

Imaged on: Tuesday 22nd and 29th July 2014.

Two views of the 152 KM / 94 mile wide Alver Crater within the Bach Quadrangle in the south polar region on Mercury.

First image, Alver Crater is to the lower left near the corner.
http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/gallery/sciencePhotos/pics/EW1048360630G.nomap.jpg

Second Image, Alver Crater is on the limb, seen almost in profile.
http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/gallery/sciencePhotos/pics/EW1048998353G.nomap.jpg

Alver Crater is a double ringed complex crater with a lava flooded floor.

The 760 KM / 475 mile long Belgica Rupes is also visible.

Mercury has many wrinkle ridges, caused by the shrinkage of the planet as the interior slowly cools. Many of these wrinkle ridges are likely to still be active perhaps causing Mercuryquakes as the interior of Mercury continues to cool.

On Friday 12th September 2014. the MESSENGER spacecraft periherm, the closest point to Mercury was successfully raised from: 24.3 KM / 15.1 miles to 94 KM / 58.4 miles, extending the mission further.

Periherm was also raised again on: Friday 24th October 2014 from 26 KM / 16.1 miles to 185.2 KM / 115.1 miles and there will be one more on: Wednesday 21st January 2015, when the fuel on board MESSENGER is expected to be depleted.

MESSENGER is expected to impact Mercury on the weekend of Saturday 28th or Sunday 29th March 2015.

59.37° South. 58.76° East. Resolution: 811 Metres. MDIS NAC. First image.

57.13° South. 80.69° East. Resolution: 477 Metres. MDIS NAC. Second image.

Second Image

Text: Andrew R Brown – Facebook.

NASA / JHU / APL MESSENGER spacecraft.

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This entry was posted on October 26, 2014 by in Astronomy and tagged , , , , .

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