This image, taken with the Narrow Angle Camera (NAC), gives us a close-up look at the crater Calvino, also shown in the center of this image of the plains near Rudaki crater. Named for the 20th century Italian journalist and writer Italo Calvino, this crater displays bright central peaks as well as terraced walls. Calvino's rim and the western part of its central peak are composed of material with color properties that are different from the surrounding volcanic plains.
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: November 01, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 228674673
Image ID: 960122
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: -3.39°
Center Longitude: 303.9° E
Resolution: 59 meters/pixel
Scale: Calvino crater is about 68 km (42 miles) in diameter.
Incidence Angle: 69.1°
Emission Angle: 31.2°
Phase Angle: 78.2°
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.