We have seen the ejecta deposit of the Raditladi basin before, but not at this resolution. Here, the smooth patches of surface are solidified ponds of impact melt, rock liquefied by the tremendous heat of the impact explosion that formed Raditladi. The rougher, higher-standing terrain is either solid ejecta deposited around the impact site, or part of the original surface that predates the basin's formation.
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: November 19, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 261770877
Image ID: 2981602
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 29.06°
Center Longitude: 115.13° E
Resolution: 27 meters/pixel
Scale: The field of view is ~25 km (16 mi.) from top to bottom
Incidence Angle: 68.0°
Emission Angle: 27.4°
Phase Angle: 95.4°
North is to the bottom of this image
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.
For information regarding the use of images, see the MESSENGER image use policy.