Crater To Ngoc Van, named for a Vietnamese painter, is seen at the top of this image. The oblique angle provides a great view into the irregularly shaped pit within To Ngoc Van, which is thought to have formed via explosive volcanism and provides evidence for Mercury's geologically active past. Many of the smaller (5-10 km) craters in this scene were produced as secondary impacts from the ejecta of nearby Ahmad Baba crater. North is to the left in this image.
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: November 19, 2013
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 27148228
Image ID: 5223996
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filter: 7 (748 nanometers)
Center Latitude: 53.36°
Center Longitude: 239.6° E
Resolution: 154 meters/pixel
Scale: Crater To Ngoc Van is 71 km (44 miles) in diameter
Incidence Angle: 73.7°
Emission Angle: 65.6°
Phase Angle: 30.0°
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.