Relatively young smooth plains fill and partially bury Faulkner crater, leaving only the northern three-quarters of its degraded rim visible. These smooth plains, which have relatively few superposed craters and appear tan in this image, were likely emplaced as volcanic flows that breached Faulkner's southern rim, leaving only the highest-standing terrain intact.
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 covered Mercury's northern hemisphere with the highest-resolution color images that are possible.
Date acquired: January 19, 2013
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 878881, 878901, 878885
Image ID: 3356193, 3356198, 3356194
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: 8.61°
Center Longitude: 77.37° E
Resolution: 299 meters/pixel
Scale: Faulkner crater is approximately 168 km (104 mi.) in diameter
Incidence Angle: 36.5°
Emission Angle: 43.6°
Phase Angle: 78.1°
North is up in 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. MESSENGER acquired over 150,000 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is capable of continuing orbital operations until early 2015.
For information regarding the use of images, see the MESSENGER image use policy.