Mercury's hidden side imaged

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Mercury's hidden side imaged

Post by jyril on 7th October 2008, 11:18 am

Messenger flew by Mercury yesterday. The first images are online. This side looks different because of the *huge* rays emanating from Kuiper crater. Incredible!

PS. Mercury's other hemisphere was the biggest known unimaged region in the Solar System left...

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Re: Mercury's hidden side imaged

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 8th October 2008, 8:07 pm

jyril wrote:Messenger flew by Mercury yesterday. The first images are online. This side looks different because of the *huge* rays emanating from Kuiper crater. Incredible!

Indeed! Here's some images that have come in.



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Re: Mercury's hidden side imaged

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 9th October 2008, 7:17 pm


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Re: Mercury's hidden side imaged

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 10th October 2008, 6:59 pm


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Re: Mercury's hidden side imaged

Post by Darkness nova on 12th October 2008, 6:06 pm

PS. Mercury's other hemisphere was the biggest known unimaged region in the Solar System left...
It is?

I thought uriel or areil or some of uransus other moons were pretty much as unimaged as mercury was.....?

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Re: Mercury's hidden side imaged

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 12th October 2008, 8:09 pm

Yeah I was questioning that statement, too.

That side of Mercury was mapped in poor resolution by radar a while ago, like before MESSENGER passed Mercury for the first time.
Here's the paper.
A Side of Mercury Not Seen By Mariner 10

From the paper:





So before the MESSENGER flybys, the side had been imaged and crudely mapped.

Darkness nova wrote:I thought uriel or areil or some of uransus other moons were pretty much as unimaged as mercury was.....?

Indeed, they were only half-imaged (Their southern hemispheres were imaged, but not northern, as it was they darkness). However the Uranian moons are small, and so the surface area of their unmanned side doesn't quite get up to the surface area of the side of Mercury that was accurately mapped like MESSENGER has done.

The surfaces of Pluto and Eris, I would think, probably have more unmapped surface area than Mercury did. (mapped being something a bit more meaningful than the albedo map we have of Pluto now).

The bright ejecta rays clearly visible in the Pre-MESSENGER map I posted above look like they might be the same craters just imaged by MESSENGER that are so prominent in these new flyby images.

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Re: Mercury's hidden side imaged

Post by Lazarus on 13th October 2008, 4:52 am

Also it talks about a region, which I take to mean an area on a planet, not an area that is split between planets.

Not sure why you'd be willing to accept the "crude radar mapping" of Mercury and not the "crude albedo mapping" of Pluto as counting towards the mapped/unmapped scenario.

"Unimaged by spacecraft flyby/orbit" perhaps?

As for Eris...

Radius of Eris = 1300 km => Surface area = 21,000,000 km2
Radius of Mercury = 2440 km => Area of 1 hemisphere = 37,400,000 km2
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Re: Mercury's hidden side imaged

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 13th October 2008, 1:22 pm

Lazarus wrote:Radius of Eris = 1300 km => Surface area = 21,000,000 km2
Oh blast, Eris was smaller than I thought it was, lol.

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Re: Mercury's hidden side imaged

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 19th October 2008, 1:34 pm

Steve Albers made a new map of Mercury.


scalbers wrote:Following up on this placement, here is how a new test version of my map shows the Flyby 2 coverage. It's interesting how the previous radar coverage matches the Messenger images, such as in the multi-ringed crater near the upper left limb of the approach crescent image.

http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.php?act=attach&type=post&id=16222

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Re: Mercury's hidden side imaged

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 17th March 2011, 9:21 pm

MESSENGER is in orbit of Mercury now.

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