MESSENGER X-Ray Spectrometer

ODE:Mercury, Venus



PDS Geosciences Node: PDS Source Information

Search MESSENGER NS data in Mercury ODE:

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The MESSENGER X-Ray Spectrometer (XRS) instrument measures X-rays emitted from Mercury’s surface in the energy range ~1 to 10 keV. This allows measurement of the surface abundances of Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Ti, and Fe.

MESSENGER XRS Products have been converted to the PDS4 standard. They are grouped into PDS4 collections based on processing level.

PDS4 Collection


PDS4 Bundle

Raw Data

The MESSENGER XRS raw product collection consists of uncalibrated observations recorded by the XRS instrument. The collection contains two product types including raw X-ray spectra and commands executed by the instrument. A single raw product file typically contains data collected over one Earth day.


Calibrated Data

The MESSENGER XRS calibrated product collection consists of calibrated XRS spectral data. The supernova remnant X-ray source Cassiopeia-A (Cas-A) was periodically used for in-flight calibration due to its relatively high intensity in the XRS energy range.


Derived Data

The MESSENGER XRS derived product collection consists of a set of footprint polygons for the XRS field of view during instrument observations and a set of maps showing elemental ratios derived for the XRS spectra.


More information about the XRS can be found in:

• Schlemm, C. E., et al., 2007, The X-Ray Spectrometer on the MESSENGER Spacecraft, Space Science Reviews, 131, p. 393-415, doi: 10.1007/s11214-007-9248-5.