Rikyü is an impact crater named for Sen no Rikyü, the master who was central in the development of the Japanese tea ceremony. Rikyü sits in Mercury's northern plains and is expected to host water ice because of its persistently shadowed interior and radar-bright signature. Today's image features a northwestern segment of the crater wall, where a 4.1 km-wide simple crater has resulted from an impact on Rikyü's rim. This high-resolution image also provides a fantastic view of the tiny craters that mark the crater's wall.
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: August 04, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 252610116
Image ID: 2330144
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 80.17°
Center Longitude: 335.4° E
Resolution: 13 meters/pixel
Scale: The simple crater in the lower left corner is approximately 4.1 km wide (2.5 miles)
Incidence Angle: 82.8°
Emission Angle: 44.8°
Phase Angle: 127.6°
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. During the first two years of orbital operations, 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.