PIA17288: Look, It's a Sublimation Formation!
Target Name: Mercury
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: MESSENGER
Spacecraft: MESSENGER
Instrument: MDIS - Narrow Angle
Product Size: 1139 x 1099 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Johns Hopkins University/APL
Full-Res TIFF: PIA17288.tif (1.253 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA17288.jpg (132.1 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:

Located in the crater Eminescu, this high-resolution image shows part of the mountainous peak ring, as well as an example of the extensive formation of hollows located within the crater. Hollows maintain an air of mystery in the realm of planetary science. Though the exact formation mechanism is unknown, most scientists agree sublimation of volatiles holds the answer. This image highlights the prevalence of these hollows on and around the peak ring, as well as captures the beauty of such enigmatic formations.

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,

Date acquired: August 08, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 221282722
Image ID: 605799
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 10.52
Center Longitude: 114.3 E
Resolution: 24 meters/pixel
Scale: The image is about 28 km (17 mi.) wide.
Incidence Angle: 67.5
Emission Angle: 17.1
Phase Angle: 50.4

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:
2013-06-17