October 11, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
7 (748 nanometers)
Image width is 250 kilometers (155 miles).
With Apollodorus and the center of Pantheon Fossae
to the west, the 100-km-diameter crater Atget
just beyond the lower left corner of this image, and graben
crisscrossing everywhere, this small portion of the floor of the large Caloris basin
has a lot going on. To unravel the complicated geologic relationships
, MESSENGER team members are mapping the variety of tectonic features
in the Caloris basin. In particular, the lighting of this image should aid that mapping effort in this region that previously was not extensively mapped.
This image was acquired as part of MDIS's high-incidence-angle base map. The high-incidence-angle base map is a major mapping activity in MESSENGER's extended mission and complements the surface morphology base map of MESSENGER's primary mission that was acquired under generally more moderate incidence angles. High incidence angles, achieved when the Sun is near the horizon, result in long shadows that accentuate the small-scale topography of geologic features. The high-incidence-angle base map is being acquired with an average resolution of 200 meters/pixel.
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, MESSENGER acquired 88,746 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is now in a yearlong extended mission, during which plans call for the acquisition of more than 80,000 additional images to support 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.