PIA12163: A Jumble of Impacts
Target Name: Mercury
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: MESSENGER
Spacecraft: MESSENGER
Instrument: MDIS - Narrow Angle
Product Size: 1018 x 1022 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Johns Hopkins University/APL
Full-Res TIFF: PIA12163.tif (3.126 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA12163.jpg (215.9 kB)

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The craters in this NAC image display a variety of interesting characteristics. Visible in the lower half of this image (blue arrows in figure 1) are several overlapping impact craters. These craters have degraded walls, making it somewhat difficult to distinguish the boundaries between them. Several other craters in this image (white arrows) have only their rims visible, suggesting that they were flooded with volcanic lava (PIA10601). In contrast, the crater indicated by the yellow arrow preserves a set of central peaks (a common feature found in other craters including Amaral, see PIA11771), suggesting that it has been less altered than its flooded and degraded neighbors and likely formed more recently.

Date Acquired: October 6, 2008
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 131772123
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Resolution: 280 meters/pixel (0.17 miles/pixel)
Scale: Image is about 285 kilometers (177 miles) across
Spacecraft Altitude: 10,900 kilometers (6,800 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:
2009-08-04