Near the middle of this image is a crater with a comma-shaped pit. The crater is named for Picasso, the renowned painter who was a pioneer of the Cubist style. The image has been processed to illustrate the three-dimensional nature of color image data. The MDIS camera captured images of Mercury's surface through eight different color filters. By aligning all the images so that the same feature on the ground is at the same pixel position in each image, a data product called a "multispectral image cube" is created. The cube has two dimensions of spatial information, with the third axis being the spectral (color, or wavelength) dimension. The rainbow color scale along the top and right edges of the image represents the reflectance values in each of the eight filters, with low values as black and purple and higher values as red. The reflectance generally increases from the shortest wavelength (433 nm) to the longest (996 nm).
Date acquired: September 16, 2011
Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington