October 15, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Giambologna crater is about 67 km (42 mi.) in diameter; Giambologna's Mercury
is 180 cm (71 in.) tall
This lovely, fresh, complex crater with a crescent-shaped central peak was recently given the name Giambologna by the International Astronomical Union
. The Dutch sculptor Jean Boulogne Giambologna (1529°1608) is most famous for his bronze statues of the god Mercury. The inset photograph shows one that resides in the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence, Italy. Giambologna crater is distinctive for its wide, terraced western wall and the very smooth impact melt pond that covers the eastern floor. The wall terracing probably resulted from extensive collapse
that happened because Giambologna formed on a slope°the wall of an older, larger crater.
This image was acquired as part of MDIS's high-resolution stereo imaging campaign. Images from the stereo imaging campaign are used in combination with the surface morphology base map or the albedo base map to create high-resolution stereo views of Mercury's surface, with an average resolution of 200 meters/pixel. Viewing the surface under the same Sun illumination conditions but from two or more viewing angles enables information about the small-scale topography of Mercury's surface to be obtained.
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.