October 6, 2008
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
580 meters/pixel (0.36 miles/pixel) at the bottom left of the image
The extensively rayed crater is about 110 kilometers in diameter (68 miles)
22,500 kilometers (14,000 miles)
This bright rayed crater was given the official name Hokusai
in March 2010
In one of the first images transmitted back to Earth following MESSENGER's second flyby of Mercury, an image of the entire departing planet
, a spectacular and extensive system of rays can be seen. This NAC image shows a close-up view of the apparent source of those rays, a crater 110 kilometers (68 miles) in diameter located in the northern region of Mercury. The location of this bright crater is consistent with Earth-based radar images, which suggested a very fresh, rayed impact crater in this area. The amazing extent of this large ray system is visible for the first time in MESSENGER's newly acquired images.
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
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