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At the center of this NAC image is the crater Navoi, named in November 2008 for the Uzbek poet Alisher Navoi (1441-1501) (see PIA11762). Located in the far north of Mercury’s northern hemisphere, Navoi can be seen clearly as a bright orange feature near the top of a previously released enhanced-color Wide Angle Camera (WAC) image of the Caloris basin (part of which is shown in this release) (seePIA10359). As seen in that color WAC image, Navoi contains uncommon reddish material that indicates a different rock composition from its surroundings. In the high-resolution NAC image shown here, Navoi also appears to have an irregularly shaped depression in its center. Such depressions have been seen elsewhere on Mercury, including within Praxiteles crater (PIA12040), and may indicate past volcanic activity.
Date Acquired: January 14, 2008
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 108828804
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Resolution: 550 meters/pixel (0.34 miles)
Scale: Navoi is 66 kilometers (41 miles) in diameter
Spacecraft Altitude: 21,700 kilometers (13,500 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.