September 16, 2013
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Waters crater is 15 kilometers (9 miles) in diameter
Ever since MESSENGER entered orbit about Mercury in 2011, the dark impact melt flow
of Waters crater has been a feature of interest. Targeted color imaging showed the distinctive blue color
of the impact melt flow, inspiring the crater to be named for blues legend Muddy Waters
in 2012. In 2013, this high-resolution image was acquired, revealing stunning new details of the impact melt flow beyond those visible previously
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.