This image is a portion of the MDIS global mosaic basemap that was acquired during MESSENGER's first year in orbit. The scene shows a dramatic close-up of Munch crater, named for the Norwegian impressionist painter, printmaker, and draftsman Edvard Munch (1863-1944). On Wednesday, May 2nd 2012, one of four versions of Munch's famous 1895 pastel The Scream sold at auction for $119.9 million, becoming one of the most expensive pieces of artwork in the world.
Munch crater is situated within the Caloris basin, the youngest large impact basin on Mercury. The floor of Caloris has been flooded with volcanic flows. The ejecta blanket surrounding Munch contains dark material that originated at depth and was excavated by the Munch-forming impact. This dark material may correspond to rock types -- termed lithologies -- that are mineralogically distinct from those we see on the surface.
Date Created: February 10, 2012
Instrument: Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Latitude Range: 39.2° N to 42.1° N
Longitude Range: 150.6° E to 155.3° E
Resolution: 140 meters/pixel
Scale: Munch crater is 58 km (36 mi.) in diameter
Projection: Azimuthal equidistant
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.