October 6, 2008
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
7 (750 nanometers)
2.2 kilometers/pixel (1.4 miles/pixel) in the lower left of the image
Mercury's radius is 2440 kilometers (1520 miles)
12,500 kilometers (7,800 miles)
Feature "B" was given the official name Hokusai
in March 2010
In one of the first images transmitted to Earth following MESSENGER's second Mercury flyby, a full-planet departure view
showed a crater in the northern region near the planet's limb with an impressively large system of rays. The WAC image shown here is part of a 3x3 mosaic and provides a closer look at that extensive ray system. The source crater for the ray system can be seen in detail in a previously released high-resolution Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) image
. Astronomers who collected ground-based radar images from the Arecibo Observatory had identified this rayed crater prior to MESSENGER's flyby and referred to it as feature “B.” Now optical images from MESSENGER's flyby have revealed just how big and brilliant this ray system of feature “B” really is.
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.