March 02, 2015
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
The left-to-right field of view in this image is about 20 km (12.4 mi.) across
North is down in this image.
are among its most distinctive—and unusual—surface features. In this stunning view, we see a field of hollows in the western portion of the floor of Zeami
impact basin. Hollows populate much of the rest of the basin's interior, with large concentrations several kilometers across occurring in the north and northeast parts of the floor
. Individual hollows, however, can be as small
as a couple of hundred meters in width. Much work continues to try to understand their nature and formation, and we'd be fool
ish to think this mystery solved!
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. 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
For information regarding the use of MESSENGER images, see the image use policy.