July 29, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
The largest crater in the image is approx. 60 km (38 mi.) in diameter
North is to the top of this image.
This crater, located on the eastern margin of Rembrandt basin
, has a distinctive, elongate depression oriented north-south on its floor. The depression was previously imaged in mosaics of Rembrandt (it is barely visible near the center of this color image
), and morphologically resembles depressions interpreted as volcanic vents elsewhere on Mercury
. That this vent is aligned with where we would expect Rembrandt's rim to lie (were it not removed by this crater) suggests that the larger basin may have structurally controlled the location and development of this pit.
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. Visit the Why Mercury?
section of this website to learn more about the key science questions that the MESSENGER mission is addressing. During the one-year primary mission, MESSENGER acquired 88,746 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is now in a yearlong extended mission, during which plans call for the acquisition of more than 80,000 additional images to support MESSENGER's science goals.
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.