Click on the image for larger version
Impact craters and basins on Mercury are named for deceased artists, musicians, painters, and authors who have made outstanding contributions to their fields. MESSENGER's three Mercury flybys have led to a new global view of Mercury and, currently, to 42 newly named craters on the Solar System's innermost planet. For details about these 42 new names, visit previously released images on:
This NAC image, acquired during MESSENGER's first Mercury flyby, shows the crater Benoit and the basin Lange. Benoit is named for Rigaud Benoit, a twentieth century Haitian painter (1911-1987), and Lange is named for American photographer Dorothea Lange (1895-1965). These particular craters were proposed for names on the basis of some interesting features of each. Benoit is a small 35-kilometer-diameter (22-mile-diameter) crater, but its floor is quite unusual, with two mounds that have been suggested to be evidence of intrusive volcanic activity on Mercury. The larger neighboring Lange basin appears to have been flooded by lava, with only faint traces remaining of a buried inner ring.
Date Acquired: January 14, 2008
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 108828463
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Resolution: 500 meters/pixel (0.31 miles)
Scale: Lange is 180 kilometers (112 miles) in diameter
Spacecraft Altitude: 19,700 kilometers (12,200 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.