PIA10668: Xiao Zhao's Rays Paint Mercury's Surface
Target Name: Mercury
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: MESSENGER
Spacecraft: MESSENGER
Instrument: MDIS - Narrow Angle
Product Size: 1018 x 1024 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Johns Hopkins University/APL
Full-Res TIFF: PIA10668.tif (1.044 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA10668.jpg (186.4 kB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

Original Caption Released with Image:

Click here for annotated version of PIA10668 Xiao Zhao's Rays Paint Mercury's Surface
Click on image for larger annotated version

Recently named after the 12th century Chinese artist, Xiao Zhao crater on the central left side of this image is small in comparison with many other craters on Mercury and even with many other craters in this scene. However, Xiao Zhao's long bright rays make it a readily visible feature. The fresh, bright rays, which were created by material ejected outward during the impact event that formed the crater, indicate that Xiao Zhao is a relatively young crater on Mercury's surface.

Date Acquired: January 14, 2008

Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 108828473

Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)

Resolution: 500 meter/pixel (0.3 miles/pixel)

Scale: Xiao Zhao crater is 23 kilometers (14 miles) in diameter

Spacecraft Altitude: 19,760 kilometers (12,280 miles)

These images are from MESSENGER, a NASA Discovery mission to conduct the first orbital study of the innermost planet, Mercury. For information regarding the use of images, see the MESSENGER image use policy.

Image Credit:
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Image Addition Date:
2008-05-19