The bright crater located in the southern corner of this image stands out prominently from the background. This crater's relative youth can be determined because of its undegraded continuous ejecta blanket, the dearth of superposed craters, its visible secondary crater chains, and its comparatively high reflectance.
This image was acquired as part of MDIS's color base map. The 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.
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. Visit the Why Mercury? section of this website to learn more about the key science questions that the MESSENGER mission is addressing. During the one-year primary mission, MDIS is scheduled to acquire more than 75,000 images in support of MESSENGER's science goals.
Date acquired: July 19, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 219521084, 219521086, 219521092
Image ID: 521770, 521771, 521775
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filter: 9 (996 nanometers), 6 (433 nanometers), 7 (748 nanometers)
Center Latitude: 49.28°
Center Longitude: 64.00° E
Resolution: 434 meters/pixel
Scale: The bright crater is approximately 46 km (28.5 mi) in diameter
Incidence Angle: 65.6°
Emission Angle: 0.2°
Phase Angle: 65.7°
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.