April 20 and 22, 2011
153502, 163688, 163689
Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
7 (748 nanometers)
The two largest impact craters are about 25 km (15 mi.) in diameter.
shows the geological contact between a lava flow front, which advanced from the west (left) and the pre-existing terrain that it covered. The lava flowed into and almost completely filled a medium-sized crater in the center of the scene. Other amazing lava flow features
were shown in recent Gallery releases
A portion of this mosaic appeared as Fig. 3F of J. W. Head et al. Science 333
, 1853 (2011).
These images were acquired as part of MDIS's high-resolution surface morphology base map. The surface morphology base map will cover more than 90% of Mercury's surface with an average resolution of 250 meters/pixel (0.16 miles/pixel or 820 feet/pixel). Images acquired for the surface morphology base map typically have off-vertical Sun angles (i.e., high incidence angles) and visible shadows so as to reveal clearly the topographic form of geologic features.
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: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
For information regarding the use of MESSENGER images, see the image use policy.