February 12, 2013
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
3010537, 3010557, 3010541
3507773, 3507778, 3507774
Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
9, 7, 6 (996, 748, 433 nanometers) in red, green, and blue
The larger crater, Lermontov, is 166 km in diameter (103 miles).
The crater Lermontov is named after a 19th century Russian poet, Mikhail Lermontov, who is sometimes called "the poet of the Caucasus." The color variations and irregular depressions suggest that this crater was once home to explosive volcanism
. The crater also has small bright "spots" on its floor that are interpreted to be hollows
This image was acquired as a high-resolution targeted color observation. Targeted color observations are images of a small area on Mercury's surface at resolutions higher than the 1-kilometer/pixel 8-color base map. During MESSENGER's one-year primary mission, hundreds of targeted color observations were obtained. During MESSENGER's extended mission, high-resolution targeted color observations are more rare, as the 3-color base map covered Mercury's northern hemisphere with the highest-resolution color images that are possible.
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.