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A Ghost with Four Legs
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A Ghost with Four Legs
Release Date: July 24, 2013
Topics: Scarps and Rupes, Smooth Terrain, Tectonics, Volcanism

Date acquired: February 13, 2013
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 3038383, 3038375, 3038379
Image ID: 3509798, 3509796, 3509797
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filters: 9, 7, 6 (996, 748, 433 nanometers) in red, green, and blue
Center Latitude: 69.58°
Center Longitude: 284.1° E
Resolution: 91 meters/pixel
Scale: The ghost crater is 21 km (13 miles) in diameter.
Incidence Angle: 84.9°
Emission Angle: 0.1°
Phase Angle: 85.0°

Of Interest:
The northern plains on Mercury have lower elevation than surrounding regions. This view of the northern plains includes many wrinkle ridges, a result of tectonic deformation. The ridges outline the rim of a ghost crater, formed when lava covered the crater and differential sagging took place over the rim. The ghost rim is joined by four other prominent ridges.

This image was acquired as part of MDIS's high-resolution 3-color imaging campaign. The map produced from this campaign complements the 8-color base map (at an average resolution of 1 km/pixel) acquired during MESSENGER's primary mission by imaging Mercury's surface in a subset of the color filters at the highest resolution possible. The three narrow-band color filters are centered at wavelengths of 430 nm, 750 nm, and 1000 nm, and image resolutions generally range from 100 to 400 meters/pixel in the northern hemisphere.

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. During the first two years of orbital operations, MESSENGER acquired over 150,000 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is capable of continuing orbital operations until early 2015.

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.


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