MESSENGER's near-polar orbit about Mercury, in contrast to the mission's three equatorial flybys of the planet, enables MDIS to view Mercury's polar regions for the first time. This image, located in Mercury's south polar region, shows the crater Camões near the center of the image. A scarp crosses the floor and wall of Camões, in a pattern similar to that seen at Thakur crater. Camões takes its name from the Portuguese poet Luiz Vas de Camões (c. 1524-1580). The crater extending out of the upper left corner of the image is Okyo, named for the Japanese painter Maruyama Okyo (1733-1795).
On March 17, 2011 (March 18, 2011, UTC), MESSENGER became the first spacecraft ever to orbit the planet Mercury. The mission is currently in its commissioning phase, during which spacecraft and instrument performance are verified through a series of specially designed checkout activities. In the course of the one-year primary mission, the spacecraft's seven scientific instruments and radio science investigation will unravel the history and evolution of the Solar System's innermost planet. Visit the Why Mercury? section of this website to learn more about the science questions that the MESSENGER mission has set out to answer.
Date acquired: March 30, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 209943738
Image ID: 67364
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: -70.62°
Center Longitude: 292.0° E
Resolution: 150 meters/pixel
Scale: Camoes has a diameter of 70 kilometers (43 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.