A NASA Discovery mission to conduct the first orbital study
of the innermost planet
NASA logo carnegie institution logo JHU APL logo

Why Mercury?
The Mission
Gallery
Education
News Center
Science Operations
Who We Are
FAQs
Related Links
Contacts
Home

Download iPhone/iPad app Explore orbital data with quickmap Question and Answer Mercury Orbit Insertion Where is MESSENGER? Where is Mercury now? Subscribe to MESSENGER eNews



A Newly Identified Candidate for an Explosive Volcanic Vent on Mercury
Click on image to enlarge.
A Newly Identified Candidate for an Explosive Volcanic Vent on Mercury
Release Date: November 6, 2009
Topics: Mercury Flyby 3, NAC, NASA Press Telecon 11/03/2009, Volcanism



Date Acquired: September 29, 2009
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Scale: The irregular rimless depression in the center of the image is approximately 30 kilometers (19 miles) across

Of Interest: This image shows a detailed view of the irregular depression seen in the enhanced color image released earlier this week during the NASA Science Update telecon. This region of high reflectance was just barely seen on the limb during MESSENGERís second flyby, but without enough detail to characterize it as anything other than a bright spot. A more favorable viewing angle reveals this bright spot to be an irregular rimless depression approximately 30 kilometers across surrounded by highly reflective material. Its features are distinctly different from those of impact craters and, though its origin remains ambiguous, it is suspected to be volcanic, possibly the site of an explosive volcanic vent. The high-reflectance halo surrounding this enigmatic feature is distinct in color (see the enhanced color image) and may represent a pyroclastic deposit greater than 150 kilometers in diameter.

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.


   

   Top  | Contacts
© 1999-2014 by JHU/APL