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Crater, Crater, Crater!
Click on image to enlarge.
Crater, Crater, Crater!
Release Date: June 9, 2011

Date acquired: May 20, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 214372528
Image ID: 276004
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filter: 7 (748 nanometers)
Center Latitude: 78.68°
Center Longitude: 205.0° E
Resolution: 154 meters/pixel
Scale: The largest crater in this image is 70 km (43 mi) in diameter.
Incidence Angle: 78.7°
Emission Angle: 0.3°
Phase Angle: 78.5°

Of Interest: This spectacular image includes three large craters, approximately 12 km, 30 km, and 70 km in diameter. The largest crater is the oldest of the three, with the other two superposed on top of it. The 30-km-diameter crater exhibits a very interesting and unusual central peak structure.

This image was acquired as part of MDIS's high-resolution surface morphology base map. The surface morphology base map will cover more than 90% of Mercury's surface with an average resolution of 250 meters/pixel (0.16 miles/pixel or 820 feet/pixel). Images acquired for the surface morphology base map typically have off-vertical Sun angles (i.e., high incidence angles) and visible shadows so as to reveal clearly the topographic form of geologic features.

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, MDIS is scheduled to acquire more than 75,000 images in support of 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.


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