September 11, 2013
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
The field of view in this image is about 29 km (18 mi.) from left to right
North is to the bottom of the image.
In contrast to Monday's image
, not all lobate scarps are large. The example pictured here is much smaller—both in terms of length and relief—than Discovery Rupes, but it too has contributed to the shortening
of Mercury's crust. This scarp cross-cuts an unnamed, 65-km-diameter crater, which is filled with smooth plains
, just north of Mussorgskij crater. Whether this scarp is younger than Discovery Rupes and so has not had as much time to accumulate tectonic deformation, or if instead it did not shorten the crust as much for other reasons, remains as yet unclear.
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.