This image, taken with the Wide Angle Camera (WAC), shows Praxiteles crater. Named for the renowned Athenian sculptor Praxiteles of the 4th century B.C., this crater displays an inner peak ring and irregularly-shaped depressions surrounded by high-reflectance material with a color signature different from the surrounding material. These pits may be sites of past volcanic activity.
This image was acquired as part of MDIS's high-resolution stereo base map. The stereo base map is used in combination with the surface morphology base map to create high-resolution stereo views of Mercury's surface, with an average resolution of 250 meters/pixel (0.16 miles/pixel or 820 feet/pixel) or better. During MESSENGER's one-year mission, the surface morphology base map is acquired during the first 176 days, and the second 176 days are used to acquire the complementary stereo base map, which includes the image here.
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 02, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 228716849
Image ID: 962139
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filter: 7 (748 nanometers)
Center Latitude: 25.46°
Center Longitude: 298.4° E
Resolution: 125 meters/pixel
Scale: Praxiteles crater is 198 km (123 miles) in diameter.
Incidence Angle: 67.7°
Emission Angle: 7.1°
Phase Angle: 67.8°
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.