Mercury's hollows are among its most distinctive -- and unusual -- surface features. In this stunning view, we see a field of hollows in the western portion of the floor of Zeami impact basin. Hollows populate much of the rest of the basin's interior, with large concentrations several kilometers across occurring in the north and northeast parts of the floor. Individual hollows, however, can be as small as a couple of hundred meters in width.
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: March 02, 2015
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 67599424
Image ID: 8072780
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 3.0° S
Center Longitude: 211.8° E
Resolution: 20 meters/pixel
Scale: The left-to-right field of view in this image is about 20 km (12.4 mi.) across
Incidence Angle: 73.9°
Emission Angle: 23.6°
Phase Angle: 97.5°
North is down 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.