March 6, 2014
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
The field of view in this image is 14 km (9 mi.) across
North is to the right in this scene.
Of Interest: Wrinkle ridges
are tectonic landforms observed across all of Mercury's smooth plains deposits
, and are often superposed by impact craters
. Craters themselves are frequently surrounded by lobate-like ejecta deposits
, which at first glance might look like tectonic structures. In this image, a lobate-like feature runs parallel to the northern margin of an unnamed crater 20 km (12 mi.) in diameter. Whether this landform is tectonic or impact-related is not yet clear, but with continued high-resolution imaging of other, similarly sized craters, we might be able to tell.
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.