Today's image features the sharp rim of an unnamed complex crater on Mercury. Both the terrain outside the crater's rim and the floor of the crater are marked with small craters, easy to spot in this high-resolution image at a pixel scale of 15 meters. The wall of the crater, however, is relatively smooth, as material has slumped onto the floor.
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: May 05, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 244718181
Image ID: 1769016
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 66.99°
Center Longitude: 227.6° E
Resolution: 15 meters/pixel
Scale: The image is approximately 7.7 km (4.8 miles) across
Incidence Angle: 68.6°
Emission Angle: 1.6°
Phase Angle: 70.3°
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.