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A Frozen Sea
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A Frozen Sea
Release Date: April 14, 2014
Topics: , Impact Melt

Date acquired: March 10, 2014
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 36770146
Image ID: 5908043
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 64.86°
Center Longitude: 255.3° E
Resolution: 12 meters/pixel
Scale: This scene is approximately 6 km (4 miles) across
Incidence Angle: 73.0°
Emission Angle: 5.8°
Phase Angle: 78.9°

Of Interest: Viewing a section of the southern crater in this pair, here we see the jumbled and cracked material on the crater's floor and smooth regions buried by impact melt. Little rock-bergs, tens to hundreds of meters across, dot the floor and are surrounded by a frozen sea of once-molten rock. The Sun is shining from the right.

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. 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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