In this image the famous basin, Beethoven, is featured in the bottom left quadrant, and the beloved "tongue"-like impact melt lies on the far right. However, Cezanne, the 67-km diameter crater next to the red arrow, is often unmentioned and forgotten in images that include these other two impressive features. Paul Cézanne was a French artist whose work lay somewhere between the Impressionist movement of the 19th century and the Post-Impressionist movement of the 20th century. Just as his famous painting, The Boy in the Red Vest, was stolen from the Swiss museum, Foundation E.G. Bührle, so too is his crater's spotlight stolen by Beethoven and the "tongue"-like impact melt.
This image was acquired as part of MDIS's 8-color base map. The 8-color base map is composed of WAC images taken through eight different narrow-band color filters and covers more than 99% of Mercury's surface with an average resolution of 1 kilometer/pixel. The highest-quality color images are obtained for Mercury's surface when both the spacecraft and the Sun are overhead, so these images typically are taken with viewing conditions of low incidence and emission angles.
Date acquired: April 21, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 211847346, 211847366, 211847350
Image ID: 157294, 157299, 157295
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filters: 9, 7, 6 (996, 748, 433 nanometers) in red, green, and blue
Center Latitude: -11.98°
Center Longitude: 240.9° E
Resolution: 1172 meters/pixel
Scale: This image is 1220 km (760 miles) across.
Center Incidence Angle: 57.3°
Center Emission Angle: 0.4°
Center Phase Angle: 57.5°
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.