August 11, 2013
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
This scene is approximately 74 km (46 mi.) across
Impacts shape Mercury's surface, and the ejecta excavated by each impact can be just as influential on the landscape as the creation of the impact crater itself. The strikingly fresh (unnamed) crater at the lower left of this scene has nearly obliterated any preexisting features nearby. At the center, you can see what was once a crater nearly as large as the fresh crater, scoured by secondaries
and filled in with ejecta.
This image was acquired as a targeted set of stereo images. Targeted stereo observations are acquired at resolutions much higher than that of the 200-meter/pixel stereo base map. These targets acquired with the NAC enable the detailed topography of Mercury's surface to be determined for a local area of interest.
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.