January 19, 2014
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
The crater on the left is about 13 km (8 mi.) in diameter
North is up in this image.
This view shows two craters in an area of smooth plains. The craer on the left presents an interesting geological puzzle. Note that about 90° of the rim (in the east, the right side) is sharp. But the remaining 270° of the circumference consists of a broad terrace, formed by slumping and inward movement of material. Why do you think that part of the rim and wall suffered slumping? Differences in the strength of the target material? (And, if so, caused by what?) The angle at which the impactor struck the surface? The topography of the surface? The presence of buried topography or structures? Local or regional tectonics? What additional data could help to solve this riddle?
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. In the mission's more than three years of orbital operations, MESSENGER has acquired over 250,000 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
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