PIA17237: The Pit
Target Name: Mercury
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: MESSENGER
Spacecraft: MESSENGER
Instrument: MDIS - Narrow Angle
Product Size: 1629 x 1455 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Johns Hopkins University/APL
Full-Res TIFF: PIA17237.tif (2.373 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA17237.jpg (196.1 kB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

Original Caption Released with Image:

These unnamed craters are located northeast of Magritte crater, in Mercury's southeastern hemisphere. The floor of the crater just south of the center of the image is scarred by irregularly shaped pits. The spectral measurements of these pits indicate that the pitted crater is much redder than the surrounding terrain, suggesting that it may be associated with pyroclastic material.

This image was acquired as part of MDIS's high-resolution stereo imaging campaign. Images from the stereo imaging campaign are used in combination with the surface morphology base map or the albedo base map to create high-resolution stereo views of Mercury's surface, with an average resolution of 200 meters/pixel. Viewing the surface under the same Sun illumination conditions but from two or more viewing angles enables information about the small-scale topography of Mercury's surface to be obtained.

Date acquired: December 05, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 231614646
Image ID: 1099397
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: -64.76
Center Longitude: 146.5 E
Resolution: 163 meters/pixel
Scale: The largest crater in this image is roughly 74 km (46 mi.) across.
Incidence Angle: 69.2
Emission Angle: 26.6
Phase Angle: 86.5

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.

Image Credit:
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Image Addition Date:
2013-06-07