April 12, 2013
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
This scene is approximately 25 km (16 miles) across
The rim of an unnamed peak-ring basin cuts across today's featured image. The basin is relatively degraded, but its rim still stands as a cliff over 1 km (0.6 miles) high. The face of this cliff, where downslope is toward the top of the image, is covered by a chain of secondary craters, whose formation on this steep slope led to somewhat asymmetrical crater shapes. It's hard to say which crater these secondaries originated from - the region is crossed by rays from Bronte
, over 1700 km to the west, and Hokusai
, over 2000 km to the east.
This image was acquired as a high-resolution targeted observation. Targeted observations are images of a small area on Mercury's surface at resolutions much higher than the 200-meter/pixel morphology base map. It is not possible to cover all of Mercury's surface at this high resolution, but typically several areas of high scientific interest are imaged in this mode each week.
The MESSENGER spacecraft is the first ever to orbit the planet Mercury, and the spacecraft's seven scientific instruments and radio science investigation
are unraveling the history and evolution of the Solar System's innermost planet. During the first two years of orbital operations, MESSENGER acquired over 150,000 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is capable of continuing orbital operations until early 2015.
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
For information regarding the use of MESSENGER images, see the image use policy.