This high-resolution image reveals a few melt ponds, which appear smoother than the surrounding terrain. These melt ponds were deposited as ejecta from this crater, which lies off to the north (top) of this image.
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, but typically several areas of high scientific interest are imaged in this mode each week.
Date acquired: March 10, 2014
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 36770132
Image ID: 5908036
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 63.77°
Center Longitude: 254.7° E
Resolution: 12 meters/pixel
Scale: The elliptical melt pond is approximately 1 km (0.6 mi.) in length.
Incidence Angle: 72.5°
Emission Angle: 6.3°
Phase Angle: 78.9°
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.