September 29, 2009
Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
500 meters/pixel (0.31 miles/pixel)
The diameter of Picasso is 133 kilometers (83 miles)
This image is a portion of the NAC approach mosaic from Mercury flyby 3
. It is shown in a simple cylindrical map projection
The crater pictured in the center of this image was recently named Picasso
, in honor of the Spanish painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso (1881-1973). This crater, first imaged during MESSENGER's third Mercury flyby
, has drawn scientific attention because of the large, arc-shaped pit located on the eastern side of its floor. Similar pits have been discovered on the floors of several other Mercury craters, such as Beckett
. These pits are postulated to have formed when subsurface magma subsided or drained, causing the surface to collapse into the resulting void. If this interpretation is correct, pit-floor craters such as Picasso provide evidence of shallow magmatic activity in Mercury's history.
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
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