April 22, 2015
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
The scene is approximately 1.4 km (0.9 mi.) across.
This image shows a small portion of the interior of Scarlatti basin
, a peak-ring basin
named for Baroque composers Alessandro and Domenico Scarlatti (father and son). The image is located just to the side of a large pit
that lies along part of Scarlatti's peak ring. This pit may have formed by explosive volcanism
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 (after which time MESSENGER, too, will be Baroque).
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.