Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Hokusai crater is 114 km (71 miles) in diameter
Hokusai crater's rays extend across much of the planet
, but its interior is spectacular in its own right. This series of oblique images shows the central peaks
, beautiful terraces
, and frozen sea of impact melt
on the crater floor.
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 four years of orbital operations, MESSENGER has acquired over 250,000 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER's highly successful orbital mission is about to come to an end, as the spacecraft runs out of propellant and the force of solar gravity causes it to impact the surface of Mercury in April 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.