May 10, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
This image from corner to corner is approximately 15 km (9 mi.)
Focusing on the central peaks
of a large unnamed crater between Stravinsky and Velazquez
, this image takes a close look at hollows on both the crater floor and the peaks. It is interesting to note that the hollows
seem to follow the shape of the central peak ring, and are seen in lower concentrations on the crater floor. Another interesting observation is that the large hollow in the center of the image has a crisp, fresh appearance. This suggests that some hollows are relatively young features, and could be in the process of forming today.
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.