September 29, 2011, at a NASA Press Briefing
The Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Tyagaraja is a large (97-km diameter) impact crater whose floor is partially covered by large numbers of coalesced hollows, giving the terrain an etched appearance. Here a high-resolution monochrome image has been combined with a lower-resolution enhanced-color image. The hollows appear in cyan, a result of their high reflectance and bluish color relative to other parts of the planet. The large pit in the center of the crater may be a volcanic vent, from which the orange material erupted.
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. Visit the Why Mercury?
section of this website to learn more about the key science questions that the MESSENGER mission is addressing. During the one-year primary mission, MDIS is scheduled to acquire more than 75,000 images in support of MESSENGER's science goals.
Credit: Courtesy AAAS/Science
For information regarding the use of MESSENGER images, see the image use policy.