With Apollodorus and the center of Pantheon Fossae to the west, the 100-km-diameter crater Atget just beyond the lower left corner of this image, and graben crisscrossing everywhere, this small portion of the floor of the large Caloris basin has a lot going on. To unravel the complicated geologic relationships, MESSENGER team members are mapping the variety of tectonic features in the Caloris basin. In particular, the lighting of this image should aid that mapping effort in this region that previously was not extensively mapped.
This image was acquired as part of MDIS's high-incidence-angle base map. The high-incidence-angle base map is a major mapping activity in MESSENGER's extended mission and complements the surface morphology base map of MESSENGER's primary mission that was acquired under generally more moderate incidence angles. High incidence angles, achieved when the Sun is near the horizon, result in long shadows that accentuate the small-scale topography of geologic features. The high-incidence-angle base map is being acquired with an average resolution of 200 meters/pixel.
Date acquired: October 11, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 258456401
Image ID: 2745939
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filter: 7 (748 nanometers)
Center Latitude: 27.64°
Center Longitude: 171.8° E
Resolution: 242 meters/pixel
Scale: Image width is 250 kilometers (155 miles).
Incidence Angle: 86.9°
Emission Angle: 8.4°
Phase Angle: 95.3°
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.