View Full Version : MESSENGERís First Image from Orbit of Mercury

2011-Mar-29, 09:10 PM
Here it is, the first image taken by the MESSENGER spacecraft since entering orbit around Mercury on March 17, and it includes portions of the planet not yet previously seen by spacecraft. The image was taken on today, March 29, 2011 at 5:20 am EDT by the Mercury Dual Imaging System as the spacecraft sailed [...]

More... (http://www.universetoday.com/84488/messengers-first-image-from-orbit-of-mercury/)

2011-Mar-30, 01:29 PM
Something which intrigues me under the standard assumption that an impact causes such rayed craters, is that many of the ďraysĒ are not radial from the point of impact, but instead tangential. Some even appear to be curved. Does anyone have a reasonable explanation for this observation?

2011-Apr-03, 02:29 AM
I thought this was the appropriate place for a proper discussion of items on the Universe Today site. Over there, the best I got were nonsense. I ask the same here, and all I get is *crickets* ... *crickets* ... *crickets* ...

Does no-one on the BAUT forum wish to enter a serious discussion of these observations?

2011-Apr-03, 03:30 AM
Further to my last, I have cropped and annotated one of the messenger images showing Debussy crater, to better show what I am asking about. I have overlaid red lines marked a - d on a few of the tangential rays, and marked some the curved rays with arrows e - i. For ease of comparison, I have included a clean crop of the image too.

The original image is here (http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/gallery/sciencePhotos/image.php?page=3&gallery_id=2&image_id=432)
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington.

First the clean image:

Then the annotated image:

Cheers, Dave Smith.

Van Rijn
2011-Apr-03, 05:12 AM
There appear to be rays from multiple impacts. For more input, ask in Q&A.

2011-Apr-03, 08:23 AM
Truly, we live in awesome and amazing times. We are seen images of planet that has never been seen before by the ever questing eye of of humanity, and wecan view them so shortly after been taken from any properly connected computer all over the world and even in earth orbit (http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/The-International-Space-Station-Gets-Internet-Access-106574). It may not be Jetsons, we may not have cities on the moon, but by golly, it's still, so, cool!