This image covers one section of the 110-km diameter crater Abedin. The center of the crater, marked by central peak mountains, is at the lower left corner of the image. Strings of secondary craters, formed by blocks of material thrown out of the main crater, are arranged in a generally radial pattern leading away from the crater. The secondary craters are found at or beyond a distance of about one crater radius from the rim. The area adjacent to the rim is dominated by the crater's continuous ejecta blanket. The image was collected as part of MESSENGER's color base map. It was binned on the spacecraft from its original size of 1024 by 1024 pixels to 256 by 256.
MDIS's color base map is composed of WAC images taken through eight different narrow-band color filters and will cover more than 90% of Mercury's surface with an average resolution of 1 kilometer/pixel (0.6 miles/pixel). The highest-quality color images are obtained for Mercury's surface when both the spacecraft and the Sun are overhead, so these images typically are taken with viewing conditions of low incidence and emission angles.
On March 17, 2011 (March 18, 2011, UTC), MESSENGER became the first spacecraft ever to orbit the planet Mercury. The mission is currently in its commissioning phase, during which spacecraft and instrument performance are verified through a series of specially designed checkout activities. In the course of the one-year primary mission, the spacecraft's seven scientific instruments and radio science investigation will unravel the history and evolution of the Solar System's innermost planet. Visit the Why Mercury? section of this website to learn more about the science questions that the MESSENGER mission has set out to answer.
Date acquired: April 05, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 210460589
Image ID: 91821
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filter: 12 (828 nanometers)
Center Latitude: 63.3°
Center Longitude: 354.3° E
Resolution: 639 meters/pixel
Scale: The image is about 160 km (100 mi.) on a side.
These images are from MESSENGER, a NASA Discovery mission to conduct the first orbital study of the innermost planet, Mercury. For information regarding the use of images, see the MESSENGER image use policy.