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Southern Belle
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Southern Belle
Release Date: September 24, 2012
Topics: Hollows,

Date acquired: August 01, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 252267618
Image ID: 2305632
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: -40.77°
Center Longitude: 88.20° E
Resolution: 99 meters/pixel
Scale: This crater is about 76.6 km (47.6 mi) in diameter.
Incidence Angle: 68.0°
Emission Angle: 26.6°
Phase Angle: 41.4°

Of Interest: This image, captured with the Narrow Angle Camera (NAC), displays a beautiful unnamed crater in Mercury's southern hemisphere. The crater's well-preserved terraced walls and textured ejecta blanket indicate that the crater is relatively young. On the crater's southern floor and wall, we can see high-reflectance patches, known as hollows.

This image was acquired as part of the NAC ride-along imaging campaign. When data volume is available and MDIS is not acquiring images for its other campaigns, high-resolution NAC images are obtained of the surface. These images are designed not to interfere with other instrument observations but take full advantage of periods during the mission when extra data volume is available.

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, MESSENGER acquired 88,746 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is now in a yearlong extended mission, during which plans call for the acquisition of more than 80,000 additional images to support 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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