The bright, shallow, irregular depressions located on the central peaks of this unnamed crater are hollows. Often located on central peaks and peak rings of craters, hollows may be formed by the loss of volatile material.
This image was acquired as a high-resolution targeted observation. Targeted observations are images of a small area on Mercury's surface at resolutions much higher than the 250-meter/pixel (820 feet/pixel) morphology base map or the 1-kilometer/pixel (0.6 miles/pixel) color base map. It is not possible to cover all of Mercury's surface at this high resolution during MESSENGER's one-year mission, but several areas of high scientific interest are generally imaged in this mode each week.
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 acquired: September 07, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 223917440
Image ID: 730694
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filter: 7 (748 nanometers)
Center Latitude: 22.31°
Center Longitude: 284.6° E
Resolution: 104 meters/pixel
Scale: The large crater is approximately 115 km (71 mi.) in diameter.
Incidence Angle: 76.5°
Emission Angle: 19.7°
Phase Angle: 96.3°
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.