Hokusai crater's rays extend across much of the planet, but its interior is spectacular in its own right. This series of oblique images shows the central peaks, beautiful terraces, and frozen sea of impact melt on the crater floor.
Instrument: Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 57.8°
Center Longitude: 16.8° E
Scale: Hokusai crater is 114 km (71 miles) in diameter
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. In the mission's more than four years of orbital operations, MESSENGER has acquired over 250,000 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER's highly successful orbital mission is about to come to an end, as the spacecraft runs out of propellant and the force of solar gravity causes it to impact the surface of Mercury in April 2015.
For information regarding the use of images, see the MESSENGER image use policy.