Topographic information from the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) is used to colorize a image mosaic of Goethe basin, located in Mercury's northern region. The purple colors are low and white is the highest; the total range of heights shown in this view is about 1 kilometer. Goethe basin is home to a variety of interesting features, including ghost craters with graben, wrinkle ridges that outline the basin, and dark craters that host radar-bright materials.
Scale: The width of this image is about 250 kilometers (150 miles)
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 acquired 88,746 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is now in a year-long extended mission, during which plans call for the acquisition of more than 80,000 additional images to support MESSENGER's science goals.
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.