This large crater near the center of the image is in need of a name, and you could name it! This complex crater has been deformed by Victoria Rupes, a scarp that formed as a result of global contraction. At the center of the crater floor lies an irregularly shaped volcanic vent, which appears bright and orange in color images obtained by MESSENGER.
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: July 23, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 251543770
Image ID: 2254442
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filter: 7 (748 nanometers)
Center Latitude: 47.62°
Center Longitude: 326.8° E
Resolution: 212 meters/pixel
Scale: The large crater towards the decanter of the image is approximately 105 km (65 mi.) in diameter.
Incidence Angle: 86.9°
Emission Angle: 50.2°
Phase Angle: 137.2°
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.