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A Tale of Two Basins
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A Tale of Two Basins
Release Date: February 23, 2012
Topics: Chekhov, Color Images, , Peak Ring Basins, Schubert, Smooth Terrain,

Date acquired: October 31, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 228589200, 228589220, 228589204
Image ID: 956051, 956056, 956052
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filters: 9, 7, 6 (996, 748, 433 nanometers) in red, green, and blue
Center Latitude: -37.80°
Center Longitude: 303.8° E
Resolution: 655 meters/pixel
Scale: Scene is approximately 700 km (435 miles) across
Incidence Angle: 71.1°
Emission Angle: 15.9°
Phase Angle: 86.8°

Of Interest: Two prominent basins, Chekhov at the upper left and Schubert at lower right, are both just under 200 km in diameter but have very different appearances. Chekhov has a prominent peak ring and its older age is reflected in the numerous craters that have battered its rim and floor. Schubert's floor is smooth with only a hint of its peak ring peeking through.

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.


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