Sunday, March 24, 2013

MESSENGER sees the smooth side of Mercury

During the two years of its location in orbit around Mercury, NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft has made ​​more than 150,000 images of the planet closest to the Sun, the solar system, first giving us the opportunity to think about the extremely rough, parched surface of the planet in feature. But not all areas on Mercury look stern and sinister: it also has a smooth side, you can see on the picture, published today.

Here we see the smooth sides and bottom Mercurian irregular depressions in high definition. 

This velvety texture is the result of extensive scattering by small particles of the planet's surface, due to the fact that, unlike many of the ancient topography of Mercury, this hollow, devoid of circular wall, formed not by a collision with a space object, but rather as a result of volcanic eruption of lava from the planet's interior.

Earlier, MESSENGER is sending images of the Depression, but this photo is characterized by its extremely high resolution - about 26 meters per pixel.

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