This image shows a crater deformed by a scarp that has another, younger crater superimposed on top of it. Cross-cutting relationships like this can reveal the relative timing of events on Mercury and aid in understanding the planet's overall geologic history. Lessing crater, the large crater with a central pit, is also visible on the left edge of the image.
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.
The MESSENGER spacecraft is the first ever to orbit the planet Mercury, and the spacecraft's seven scientific instruments and radio science investigation are unraveling the history and evolution of the Solar System's innermost planet. Visit the Why Mercury? section of this website to learn more about the key science questions that the MESSENGER mission is addressing.
Date acquired: April 16, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 211409423
Image ID: 136758
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: -27.73'°
Center Longitude: 272.9'° E
Resolution: 253 meters/pixel
Scale: Image width is ~260 km (160 mi)
Incidence Angle: 47.8'°
Emission Angle: 4.1'°
Phase Angle: 51.9'°
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.