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MESSENGER orbital mission PDS data
tanjent
post Sep 20 2011, 05:05 PM
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Is it safe to assume that the dark "bullseye" crater marks the exact position of pole?
I've heard it called the coldest place in the solar system, but I don't know if that is still operative.
It's hard to believe that such a dense metallic body as Mercury is such a poor conductor of heat, both from the interior and from the sun-exposed surfaces.
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Phil Stooke
post Sep 20 2011, 05:20 PM
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Yes, it's the polar crater called Chao Meng-Fu. The amount of heat available to conduct from the interior would be very small. And of course the core may be large and metallic but the surface is rocky, not metallic. The dusty regolith would be a good insulator, not conducting heat sideways from sunlit areas. And any heat that did get in there is soon radiated away into space. Still, this might not be colder than the coldest lunar shadows, which are now referred to in the same way.

http://planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov/images/H-15.pdf

Link to a PDF file of names of craters in this area, 1.5 MB.

Phil


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Phil Stooke
post Sep 25 2011, 07:55 PM
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There's lots to see by browsing around that global map, even at this stage. Here is an unusual crater:

Attached Image



It looks like an impact crater with a very large central peak. But it falls at the edge of pre-orbital color coverage:


Attached Image


(top left) - where it coincides with an orange patch. In the false color composites made by the MESSENGER team this signifies pyroclastics. And the odd crater has no raised rim. Is it really just an extra-large explosive volcanism pit? Or one that completely surrounds the central peak of a regular crater? (some pits do curve part way around the floors of other craters). The big basin in the color image is Beethoven.

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elakdawalla
post Sep 29 2011, 03:45 PM
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I just realized I hadn't started this thread in the proper subforum, so I moved it into the MESSENGER subforum.


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hendric
post Sep 29 2011, 08:45 PM
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Phil,
That to me looks like a Mt. St. Helens-style volcano that blew its top and is regenerating itself. Can't see why that couldn't happen elsewhere in the Solar System.


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scalbers
post Oct 8 2011, 05:57 PM
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QUOTE (Phil Stooke @ Sep 19 2011, 09:38 PM) *
Recent south pole images have filled in the whole polar gap in earlier maps. Here's a new mosaic. Hi Steve! You might like this...

Phil

[attachment=25567:southern...led_post.jpg]


Greetings Phil (and tanjent),

Yes, very nice to see this south polar mosaic. It is being included in a series of ongoing revisions to my map as can be seen here:

http://laps.noaa.gov/albers/sos/sos.html#MERCURY

I am showing the South Pole to be just inside the rim of Chao Meng-Fu.

Steve


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Ittiz
post Oct 25 2012, 09:08 PM
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Have they released any good topographic data yet?
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djellison
post Oct 25 2012, 09:24 PM
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Lots - http://geo.pds.nasa.gov/missions/messenger/mla.htm - just not a gridded data set yet.
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Phil Stooke
post Oct 25 2012, 09:46 PM
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It's worth pointing out that the Mercury Laser Altimeter data will only cover the northern hemisphere because of the shape of MESSENGER's orbit. The topography of the whole planet will be done with stereo imaging, at higher resolution but less accurate vertical control. The laser data will then improve the vertical accuracy in the northern hemisphere. The southern hemisphere will get a bit of additional vertical accuracy from limb profiles (including from the early fly-bys) and occultations. The final result will be a good data set but not all from the one instrument.

Phil


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Ittiz
post Oct 26 2012, 01:20 PM
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Yeah, I've seen that data. So basically it's going to be a wait before we get good topographical data for the whole globe.
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peter59
post Mar 13 2013, 09:41 PM
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MESSENGER MDIS Release #9 is now available. (2012 day 86 - 2012 day 261)
http://pdsimg.jpl.nasa.gov/index.html

Lots of wonderful images like this:
Attached Image


And specific software for quick viewing of this data set:
Attached File  MessengerViewer.zip ( 277.73K ) Number of downloads: 107


Enjoy.


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nprev
post Mar 13 2013, 10:52 PM
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That pic is a jaw-dropper, Peter!


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Explorer1
post Mar 14 2013, 05:22 AM
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Absolutely bizarre. And probably the best views we'll get in a long time. Any news about extending the mission past the 17th?
Edit: see http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/gallery/scienc...p;image_id=1115 for reasons for the mission to continue: 100% coverage is just the start....
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peter59
post Mar 8 2014, 12:08 PM
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Images from Messenger's narrow angle camera are better and better every batch. If you want to see the surface of Mercury as seen from an airplane window, you can download the latest batch (days 2013-79 to 2013-260) from http://pdsimg.jpl.nasa.gov/index.html, rotate the images 90 degrees to the right, and go on a wonderful journey.
A few randomly selected images (day 2013-189).
Attached Image
Attached Image
Attached Image


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peter59
post Mar 8 2014, 02:38 PM
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Unique close-up look at the chains of secondary craters. Some look partly buried, it is difficult to say whether immediately after they are created, or later.
Attached Image
Attached Image
Attached Image
Attached Image

Congratulations to the Messenger team for their great job.


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