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.