This high-resolution, targeted image of Sander crater reveals that the bright portions of the floor consist of large numbers of shallow irregular depressions ("hollows"), giving an etched appearance to the surface.
This image of Sander has about 10 times better pixel resolution than the one obtained during MESSSENGER's first Mercury flyby.
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. During the one-year primary mission, MDIS is scheduled to acquire more than 75,000 images in support of MESSENGER's science goals.
Date Presented: September 29, 2011, at a NASA press briefing
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
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.