9
$\begingroup$

Is the location of the impact site of Messenger known with sufficient detail to image it from low orbit? Does Bepi-Colombo have a high enough camera resolution to image Mercury at whatever the expected size of Messenger's crater is?

$\endgroup$

1 Answer 1

4
$\begingroup$

NASA was predicting the Messenger would produce an impact crater 16 metres across. The imaging system on the BepiColombo MPO is called SIMBIO-SYS and this has a High spatial Resolution Imaging Channel with a resolution of 5 metres per pixel from an orbital height of 400km.

I'd guess the difficulty in deciding whether a feature that is three pixels across is the Messenger impact site is that you'd need a 'before' image to compare to the 'after'. Also, the perihermion altitude of the MPO is planned to be 480km rather than 400km, so the impact site may be less than two pixels across.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.