This view from MESSENGER's Narrow Angle Camera shows the impact crater Rude under morning illumination. The crater has small remnant central peaks that are slightly off-center. A sizable impact crater formed on Rude's floor, possibly causing slumping of Rude's northern rim. Francois Rude was a French sculptor who lived from 1784-1855. His statue of "Mercury Fastening his Sandals" is in the Louvre.
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: March 04, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 239375379
Image ID: 1474113
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: -33.50°
Center Longitude: 280.4° E
Resolution: 180 meters/pixel
Scale: Rude crater is about 67 km (42 mi.) in diameter
Incidence Angle: 81.8°
Emission Angle: 18.4°
Phase Angle: 100.3°
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.