The large, central peaked crater featured in this image is Tsurayuki crater, named for the Japanese author and poet Ki no Tsurayuki. Tsurayuki sits on the rim of the older, larger Pushkin crater, named for the Russian poet Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin. In addition to his poetry, Pushkin was well known for his dueling, fighting twenty-nine duals over his lifetime. Ultimately, he met his end in such a duel, defending the honor of his wife in a duel with a French officer who attempted to seduce her. This image is a good example of the law of superposition and cratering mechanics with craters ranging in size and age from small, bowl-shaped craters through large, complex craters and basins.
This image was acquired as part of MDIS's high-resolution surface morphology base map. The surface morphology base map covers more than 99% of Mercury's surface with an average resolution of 200 meters/pixel. Images acquired for the surface morphology base map typically are obtained at off-vertical Sun angles (i.e., high incidence angles) and have visible shadows so as to reveal clearly the topographic form of geologic features.
Date acquired: September 07, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 223924309
Image ID: 730952
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: -64.58°
Center Longitude: 342.2° E
Resolution: 241 meters/pixel
Scale: Tsurayuki crater is 83 km (52 mi.) across.
Incidence Angle: 65.9°
Emission Angle: 19.0°
Phase Angle: 84.9°
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.