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
News Center
Science Operations
Who We Are
Related Links

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

Blanket of Hollows
Click on image to enlarge.
Blanket of Hollows
Release Date: January 12, 2012
Topics: Hollows, Kertesz,

Date acquired: December 31, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 233815896
Image ID: 1205807
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 57.19°
Center Longitude: 125.8° E
Resolution: 21 meters/pixel
Scale: The diameter of this crater is about 9 kilometers (5.6 miles)
Incidence Angle: 59.6°
Emission Angle: 9.1°
Phase Angle: 50.5°

Of Interest: This high-resolution NAC image shows a fresh, simple crater. Simple craters are numerous on Mercury's surface, but this one is remarkable because of the many hollows visible in the crater's ejecta blanket. Stunning examples of hollows have been seen on the floors of the larger craters of Raditladi, Eminescu, Tyagaraja, Sander, and Kertesz.

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 250-meter/pixel (820 feet/pixel) morphology base map or the 1-kilometer/pixel (0.6 miles/pixel) color base map. It is not possible to cover all of Mercury's surface at this high resolution during MESSENGER's one-year mission, but several areas of high scientific interest are generally 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. 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.


   Top  | Contacts
© 1999-2015 by JHU/APL