Situated high in Mercury's southern hemisphere, Han Kan is a 50-km-diameter impact crater with a well preserved central peak and a smooth floor that is likely solidified impact melt. The crater's perimeter is relatively sharp, indicating that it formed in the latter part of Mercury's history. Terracing along the crater's wall resulted from localized collapses after Han Kan formed. This charming crater is named for the Chinese painter Han Kan (720-780 CE), who is renowned for his life-like and spirited paintings of horses.
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: November 05, 2014
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 57488460
Image ID: 7374372
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 71.7° S
Center Longitude: 213.7° E
Resolution: 115 meters/pixel
Scale: Han Kan crater is about 50 km (31 mi.) in diameter
Incidence Angle: 75.2°
Emission Angle: 23.7°
Phase Angle: 51.5°
North is to the top left in this image.
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.