Like the Wedding Guest in the thrall of the Ancient Mariner, we are transfixed by the stunning landscape of today's image and the dramatic story it tells. The large degraded impact crater near the center is Coleridge. It has been pummeled by later impacts, crumpled by the formation of lobate scarps, deeply incised by secondary crater chains, and much of the interior and low-lying portions of the exterior have been infilled by plains volcanism.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) was an English poet, known for The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan.
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: October 09, 2013
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 23641933
Image ID: 4974199
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 55.4° S
Center Longitude: 294.1° E
Resolution: 209 meters/pixel
Scale: The image is about 225 km (140 mi.) across
Incidence Angle: 79.3°
Emission Angle: 8.5°
Phase Angle: 70.8°
North is up 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. 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.