Unmasking the Secrets of Mercury

Color enhanced full-globe images.
April 16, 2015
CreditNASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
PIA NumberPIA19419
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The MASCS instrument was designed to study both the exosphere and surface of Mercury. To learn more about the minerals and surface processes on Mercury, the Visual and Infrared Spectrometer (VIRS) portion of MASCS collected single tracks of spectral surface measurements since MESSENGER entered orbit.

The track coverage is extensive enough that the spectral properties of both broad terrains and small, distinct features such as pyroclastic vents and fresh craters can be studied. To accentuate the geological context of the spectral measurements, the MASCS data have been overlain on the MDIS monochrome mosaic.