This image features an elongated impact crater north of Rembrandt impact basin. This crater was most likely formed by a oblique impact (less than 15 degrees from the horizontal), which created the crater's distinct elongated shape and central peak. This crater's rays have faded over time due to space weathering, but when they were still visible, they would have formed a butterfly pattern from the crater's rim.
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: July 04, 2014
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 46777429
Image ID: 6618818
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: -18.60°
Center Longitude: 95.44° E
Resolution: 162 meters/pixel
Scale: The oblong impact is about 34.2 km (21.3 miles) long and 19.3 km (12 miles) wide.
Incidence Angle: 65.0°
Emission Angle: 31.8°
Phase Angle: 41.1°
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.