This image is of the southern rim of the crater Stravinsky. In this high-incidence-angle lighting, the topography of the crater is easily seen. Particularly noticeable is the difference between the crater's flat floor and the hummocky terrain of the ejecta blanket outside the crater. The area in the lower left of the image is part of the Vyasa basin. Since Stravinsky's ejecta overlaps Vyasa, we can deduce that Stravinsky is younger than Vyasa.
This image was acquired as part of MDIS's high-incidence-angle base map. The high-incidence-angle base map complements the surface morphology base map of MESSENGER's primary mission that was acquired under generally more moderate incidence angles. High incidence angles, achieved when the Sun is near the horizon, result in long shadows that accentuate the small-scale topography of geologic features. The high-incidence-angle base map was acquired with an average resolution of 200 meters/pixel.
Date acquired: February 15, 2013
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 3211541
Image ID: 3522080
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filter: 7 (748 nanometers)
Center Latitude: 50.01°
Center Longitude: 281.1° E
Resolution: 256 meters/pixel
Scale: The smaller crater in the upper left is 7.8 km (4.8 miles) in diameter.
Incidence Angle: 82.7°
Emission Angle: 0.1°
Phase Angle: 82.7°
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.