Advertisements

Catchin’ Some Rays

The bright rayed Debussy Crater on Mercury

One of the newest images from MESSENGER, now nice and comfy in orbit around Mercury, is of the bright Debussy crater and part of its extensive system of surrounding ejecta rays. The crater’s jagged central peak can be seen in this top-down view from the spacecraft’s narrow-angle camera (NAC).

Also, here’s a new image of Debussy taken with the spacecraft’s wide-angle camera showing more of the ray structures.

Named for the French composer Claude Debussy* (of “Claire de Lune” fame), the crater itself is approximately 50 miles (80 km) wide. It was first detected by ground-based radar telescopes in 1969 as a bright spot…and now, 42 years later, we have a spacecraft staring down at it and sending back images in amazing detail! Awesome.

Read more about this image on the MESSENGER site here.

Looking forward to many more new views of the first planet in the days, weeks and months ahead!

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

*It’s become the practice of naming features on Mercury after historically important artists and composers from around the world.

Advertisements

About Jason Major

Jason is a Rhode Island-based graphic designer, photographer, nature lover, space exploration fanatic, and coffee addict. In no particular order.

Posted on March 30, 2011, in Mercury and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Have an opinion about this? Leave a comment:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: