This image features a ghost crater ~55 km (34 mi.) in diameter near its center. The crater was likely flooded by the lava that formed the Suisei Planitia. The crater rim and central peaks can still be seen, despite their burial, and the area was showered by secondary craters from a subsequent impact event.
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: December 09, 2013
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 28935167
Image ID: 5350993
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filter: 7 (748 nanometers)
Center Latitude: 63.17°
Center Longitude: 219.7° E
Resolution: 157 meters/pixel
Scale: The ghost crater near the center of the image is approximately 55 km (34 mi.) in diameter.
Incidence Angle: 89.6°
Emission Angle: 52.4°
Phase Angle: 142.0°
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.