Oberst, Jürgen and Elgner, Stephan and Turner, F. Scott and Perry, Mark E. and Gaskell, Robert W. and Zuber, Maria T. and Robinson, Mark S. and Solomon, Sean C. (2011) Radius and limb topography of Mercury obtained from images acquired during the MESSENGER flybys. Planetary and Space Science, 59, pp. 1918-1924. ISSN 0032-0633.
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Analysis of images obtained by the MESSENGER spacecraft during its three flybys of Mercury yields a new estimate for the planet’s mean radius of 2439.2570.69 km, in agreement with results from Mariner 10 and Earth-based observations, as well as with MESSENGER altimeter and occultation data. The mean equatorial radius and polar radius are identical to within error, suggesting that rotational oblateness is negligible when compared with other sources of topography. This result is consistent with the small gravitational oblateness of the planet. Minor differences in radius obtained at different locations reflect regional variations in topography. Residual topography along three limb profiles has a dynamic range of 7.4 km and a root-mean-square roughness of 0.8 km over hemispherical scales. Following MESSENGER’s entry into orbit about Mercury in March 2011, we expect considerable additional improvements to our knowledge of Mercury’s size and shape.
|Title:||Radius and limb topography of Mercury obtained from images acquired during the MESSENGER flybys|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Planetary and Space Science|
|In Open Access:||No|
|In ISI Web of Science:||Yes|
|Page Range:||pp. 1918-1924|
|Keywords:||Mercury Radius Topography Imaging MESSENGER|
|HGF - Research field:||Aeronautics, Space and Transport|
|HGF - Program:||Space|
|HGF - Program Themes:||Space Science and Exploration|
|DLR - Research area:||Raumfahrt|
|DLR - Program:||R EW - Erforschung des Weltraums|
|DLR - Research theme (Project):||R - Vorhaben BepiColombo|
|Institutes and Institutions:||Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Geodesy|
|Deposited By:||Stephan Elgner|
|Deposited On:||19 Dec 2011 10:05|
|Last Modified:||26 Mar 2013 13:35|
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