Candidate volcanic vents, lava flow-related channels, and teardrop-shaped features associated with smooth plains deposits in Mercury's northern hemisphere. (Upper left and right) Image and sketch map of the assemblage of volcanic flow-related features. Blunt arrows, flow-front-like embayment; long arrows, teardrop-shaped hills (TH). (Lower left) Pits interpreted as source vents. (Lower right) Teardrop-shaped hills and channel interpreted to be formed by lava erosion.
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: 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.