This image shows the crater Theophanes, which was originally imaged by Mariner 10. It is named after the Byzantine iconographer known as Theophanes the Greek. Though he was born in Constantinople, the capitol of the Byzantine Empire, around 1340 CE, Theophanes spent most of his life in Russia, where he moved in 1370 CE. It was in Russia that he gained notoriety as an icon painter. Some of his more prominent works include Our Lady of the Don and the Transfiguration of Christ. He is also known as the teacher and mentor of the great medieval Russian painter Andrei Rublev, the eponym of Rublev crater.
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: October 03, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 257735204
Image ID: 2694715
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: -5.04°
Center Longitude: 217.2° E
Resolution: 74 meters/pixel
Scale: The crater Theophanes has diameter of ~46 km ( 29 mi.).
Incidence Angle: 69.3°
Emission Angle: 2.2°
Phase Angle: 71.6°
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.