August 04, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
The simple crater in the lower left corner is approximately 4.1 km wide (2.5 miles)
Of Interest: Rikyu
is an impact crater named for Sen no Rikyū, the master who was central in the development of the Japanese tea ceremony. Rikyu sits in Mercury's northern plains and is expected to host water ice
because of its persistently shadowed interior and radar-bright signature
. Today's image features a northwestern segment of the crater wall, where a 4.1 km-wide simple crater
has resulted from an impact on Rikyu's rim. This high-resolution image also provides a fantastic view of the tiny craters that mark the crater's wall
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.