April 24, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
The scene is about 33 km (21 mi.) across
North is up in this image.
Of Interest: Hollows
on Mercury are sometimes associated with pyroclastic deposits
. This association is illustrated here, in this view of the floor of Mistral crater. The large irregular depressions are volcanic vents from which explosive eruptions ejected pyroclastic material. The small depressions with bright halos are hollows.
Gabriela Mistral was a Chilean poet who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1945. The English title of her first great collection of poems was "Despair" (1922). Two years later "Tenderness" was published. Both volumes exhibited her "lyric poetry... inspired by powerful emotions."
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 200-meter/pixel morphology base map. It is not possible to cover all of Mercury's surface at this high resolution, but typically several areas of high scientific interest are 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. In the mission's more than three years of orbital operations, MESSENGER has acquired over 250,000 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is capable of continuing orbital operations until early 2015.
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.