PIA12042: The Curious Case of Raditladi Basin
Target Name: Mercury
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: MESSENGER
Spacecraft: MESSENGER
Instrument: MDIS - Narrow Angle
Product Size: 1018 x 1025 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Johns Hopkins University/APL
Full-Res TIFF: PIA12042.tif (1.045 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA12042.jpg (168.2 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 larger version of PIA12042

Click on the image
for larger version

Raditladi basin, imaged during MESSENGER's first Mercury flyby and named in April 2008 (PIA10611), is intriguing for several reasons. Shown extending across the top of this high-resolution NAC image, Raditladi basin is relatively young, with only a few small impact craters on the basin's floor and with well-preserved basin walls and peak-ring structure. Visible on the floor of Raditladi are concentric troughs (blue arrows), formed by extension (pulling apart) of the surface. However, extensional troughs on Mercury are quite rare, having been seen to date only in two other locations on the planet: as part of Pantheon Fossae and other troughs in Caloris basin (PIA11077) and on the floor of Rembrandt, the large basin discovered during MESSENGER's second Mercury flyby (PIA11769). Understanding how these troughs formed in the young Raditladi basin could provide an important indicator of processes that acted relatively recently in Mercury’s geologic history. Raditladi basin was the topic of one of 25 presentations made by MESSENGER team members at the 40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference held last week.

Date Acquired: January 14, 2008
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 108826792
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Resolution: 250 meters/pixel (0.16 miles/pixel)
Scale: Raditladi basin has a diameter of 257 kilometers (160 miles)
Spacecraft Altitude: 10,000 kilometers (6,200 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:
2009-03-31