September 29, 2009
Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
The diameter of Rachmaninoff is 290 kilometers (180 miles)
This image is a portion of the NAC approach mosaic acquired during Mercury flyby 3
. Shown here is an orthographic reprojection
of that mosaic with a resolution of 500 meters/pixel (0.3 miles/pixel).
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) recently approved the name Rachmaninoff for an intriguing double-ring basin on Mercury. This basin, first imaged in its entirety during MESSENGER's third Mercury flyby, was quickly identified as a feature of high scientific interest
, because of its fresh appearance, its distinctively colored interior plains, and the extensional troughs on its floor. At the NASA science update to the media on November 3, 2009, this then-unnamed basin featured prominently in the imaging results presented, with both an enhanced-color image
and a reprojected mosaic
released and discussed. The basin's name honors the Russian composer, pianist, and conductor, Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943). Rachmaninoff joins ten other names for Mercury craters approved this month
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.