PIA15858: Smooth Around the Edges
Target Name: Mercury
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: MESSENGER
Spacecraft: MESSENGER
Instrument: MDIS - Narrow Angle
Product Size: 880 x 1908 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Johns Hopkins University/APL
Full-Res TIFF: PIA15858.tif (1.681 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA15858.jpg (138.2 kB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

Original Caption Released with Image:

The mosaic of NAC images shown here allows us to view this unnamed crater in detail. This complex crater displays terraced walls and central peaks. Outside of the crater rim, the surface appears to be smooth, contrasting with the rougher interior of the crater. The resolution of this image, at 16 meters/pixel (52 feet/pixel), is among the highest that MDIS has acquired of Mercury's surface.

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 200-meter/pixel morphology base map. It is not possible to cover all of Mercury's surface at this high resolution, but typically several areas of high scientific interest are imaged in this mode each week.

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 200-meter/pixel morphology base map. It is not possible to cover all of Mercury's surface at this high resolution, but typically several areas of high scientific interest are imaged in this mode each week.

Date acquired: May 06, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 244833470, 244833472, 244833474, 244833476
Image ID: 1777209, 1777210, 1777211, 1777212
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 61.8
Center Longitude: 223.5 E
Resolution: 16 meters/pixel
Scale: This crater has a diameter of approximately 18 km (11 miles)
Incidence Angle: 64.0
Emission Angle: 4.7
Phase Angle: 59.2

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.

Image Credit:
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Image Addition Date:
2012-06-11