October 6, 2008
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
140 meters/pixel (0.09 miles/pixel) near the bottom of the image
The bottom of this image is about 140 kilometers across (87 miles)
5,600 kilometers (3,500 miles)
Extending from the left edge of this image downward toward the lower right corner is a long cliff face. This cliff runs through a large ancient crater in the center of the frame. Cliffs such as this one, referred to as rupes on Mercury, have been identified on other areas of the planet, such as Beagle Rupes
imaged during MESSENGER's first flyby. This rupes is being seen for the first time, as this portion of Mercury's surface is located within the “gap” present in the Mariner 10 dataset
. This cliff may have been created when, in Mercury's past, the entire planet cooled and the surface consequently contracted.
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
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