January 30, 2014
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
The crater in the image center is 20 km (about 12 mi.) across
North is to the bottom in this image
In this dramatic image, Dominici
crater takes center-stage. Dominici is 20 km (12 mi.) in diameter, and hosts a variety of landforms including a sharp crater rim
, internal slumps
, and abundant hollows
. Dominici is also a rayed crater
, which, together with its well-preserved rim, indicate that the crater is relatively young. This scene, taken from an oblique angle, gives us a good idea of what the surface of Mercury might look like from a spacecraft window as we zoom overhead!
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.