This image, taken with the Wide Angle Camera (WAC), shows an unnamed crater in Mercury's northern hemisphere. This complex crater displays bright central peaks and terraced walls. It may also contain hollows at its center--shallow, bright impressions which were a surprising find in some of MESSENGER's high-resolution images.
This image was acquired as part of MDIS's high-resolution stereo base map. The stereo base map is used in combination with the surface morphology base map to create high-resolution stereo views of Mercury's surface, with an average resolution of 250 meters/pixel (0.16 miles/pixel or 820 feet/pixel) or better. During MESSENGER's one-year mission, the surface morphology base map is acquired during the first 176 days, and the second 176 days are used to acquire the complementary stereo base map, which includes the image here.
Date acquired: December 02, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 231308591
Image ID: 1084977
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filter: 7 (748 nanometers)
Center Latitude: 39.68°
Center Longitude: 111.0° E
Resolution: 107 meters/pixel
Scale: The large crater is about 75 km (47 miles) in diameter
Incidence Angle: 73.7°
Emission Angle: 6.4°
Phase Angle: 73.5°
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.
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.