January 23, 2015
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
The left-to-right field of view in this image is about 60 km (37 mi.) across
North is up in this image.
Mercury's surface is riven
by large tectonic structures that formed when the planet's interior cooled and contracted. One of the most notable such structures is Enterprise Rupes
, a lobate scarp
system 822 km (510 mi.) in length. Enterprise Rupes cross-cuts
the majestic Rembrandt
impact basin, some 716 km (445 mi.) across. Rembrandt itself hosts numerous examples where lobate scarps cross smaller craters, such as that shown here. The scarp in this scene lies close to the perimeter of Rembrandt and parallels the basin's outline, before crossing Enterprise Rupes itself farther to the north.
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.