PIA14222: To Ngoc Van's Central Pit
Target Name: Mercury
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: MESSENGER
Spacecraft: MESSENGER
Instrument: MDIS - Wide Angle
Product Size: 1430 x 1430 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Johns Hopkins University/APL
Full-Res TIFF: PIA14222.tif (2.047 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA14222.jpg (189.4 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:

The two largest craters in this image are Burns (43 km in diameter) and To Ngoc Van (71 km in diameter). To Ngoc Van contains an irregularly shaped pit, similar to those seen inside of the craters Beckett, Picasso, and Gibran, among others.

This image was acquired as part of MDIS's high-resolution surface morphology base map. The surface morphology base map will cover more than 90% of Mercury's surface with an average resolution of 250 meters/pixel (0.16 miles/pixel or 820 feet/pixel). Images acquired for the surface morphology base map typically have off-vertical Sun angles (i.e., high incidence angles) and visible shadows so as to reveal clearly the topographic form of geologic features.

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: April 22, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 211938059
Image ID: 161520
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filter: 7 (748 nanometers)
Center Latitude: 53.40
Center Longitude: 245.4 E
Resolution: 216 meters/pixel
Scale: The crater containing the pit is 71 km (44 mi) in diameter.
Incidence Angle: 66.8
Emission Angle: 0.1
Phase Angle: 66.7

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:
2011-05-02