April 07, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
210677654, 210677650, 210677646
102052, 102051, 102050
Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
9, 7, 6 (996, 748, 433 nanometers) in red, green, and blue
Sor Juana crater is about 94 km (58 mi.) in diameter
North is up in this image.
Today's image is a lovely color view of the impact crater Sor Juana. The crater interior contains smooth material, probably impact melt, that embays the central peak. The rim is relatively sharp, with well developed terraces. Sor Juana does not have its own rays°the bright ray patches containing chains and clusters of secondary craters that are dotted around the scene originated at Hokusai
Sor Juana is named for Sor Juana In°s de la Cruz (Sister Joan Agnes of the Cross), a nun and poet who lived from 1651 to 1695 in what is now Mexico. Some authorities consider her body of work to be the most important in North America until the arrival of 19th Century poets such as Dickinson and Whitman.
This image was acquired as a high-resolution targeted color observation. Targeted color observations are images of a small area on Mercury's surface at resolutions higher than the 1-kilometer/pixel 8-color base map. During MESSENGER's one-year primary mission, hundreds of targeted color observations were obtained. During MESSENGER's extended mission, high-resolution targeted color observations are more rare, as the 3-color base map covered Mercury's northern hemisphere with the highest-resolution color images that are possible.
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.