August 14, 2013
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
This scene is approximately 106 km (66 mi.) across
The Rembrandt basin, first discovered
during MESSENGER's second flyby
of Mercury, is the youngest of the large impact basins that formed on Mercury. Here you can see a portion of the rim. The rim scarp runs north-south along the scene, casting a meandering shadow that separates the basin exterior on the left from the interior on the right. The two sides don't look hugely different, likely because during and after the basin-forming event molten rock coated much of this area, later solidifying to form the surface we see today.
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.