January 07, 2013
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
2 (700 nanometers)
Prokofiev has a diameter of 112 kilometers (70 miles).
Prokofiev, named in August 2012
for the Russian composer, is the largest crater in Mercury's north polar region to host radar-bright material
. MESSENGER has found evidence
that within the cold, dark, permanently shadowed regions of Prokofiev, water ice is exposed on the surface.
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.