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Using Shadows to Measure Crater Depths
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Using Shadows to Measure Crater Depths
Release Date: July 7, 2011
Topics: Complex Craters, Image Compilations,

Date Presented: July 7, 2011, in a MESSENGER Science Highlight article.

Of Interest: This figure shows two images of craters obtained by MDIS from orbit. Left: A simple, bowl-shaped crater 4.1 km in diameter crater located at 78.8°N, 346.3°E. Solar illumination is from the south. Right: A complex crater 51.5 km in diameter located at 2.3°N, 121.4°E. Illumination is from the east. Shadows cast on a crater interior can be used to estimate the depth of a crater floor below the surrounding rim. To read more about about how craters on Mercury are measured, visit the MESSENGER Science Highlight article.

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.

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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