This image gives us a glimpse of Lermontov crater, first viewed by the Mariner 10 mission. This color version emphasizes the bright rays extending from Bek to the northwest that fall on an area of Low Reflectance Material (LRM). Lermontov features bright hollows in its crater floor, alongside pyroclastic vents and deposits that have a golden-yellow cast in this presentation. Mikhail Lermontov, the esteemed Russian poet for whom this crater was named, was perhaps most famous for his poem "Death of the Poet", which led to his exile by czar Nicholas I.
This image was acquired as a high-resolution targeted color observation. Targeted color observations are images of a small area on Mercury's surface at resolutions higher than the 1-kilometer/pixel 8-color base map. During MESSENGER's one-year primary mission, hundreds of targeted color observations were obtained. During MESSENGER's extended mission, high-resolution targeted color observations are more rare, as the 3-color base map is covering Mercury's northern hemisphere with the highest-resolution color images that are possible.
Date acquired: April 12, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 211111707, 211111727, 211111711
Image ID: 122544, 122549, 122545
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: 21.32°
Center Longitude: 308.8° E
Resolution: 401 meters/pixel
Scale: Lermontov crater has a diameter of 166 km (103 miles).
Incidence Angle: 25.8°
Emission Angle: 29.9°
Phase Angle: 55.8°
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.