Inside this simple crater, the sun never shines! The view shown here is a mosaic of two images, showing higher-resolution details of the crater's sunlit wall but leaving the ice that may lie in the darkness unseen.
This image was acquired as part of the MDIS low-altitude imaging campaign. During MESSENGER's second extended mission, the spacecraft makes a progressively closer approach to Mercury's surface than at any previous point in the mission, enabling the acquisition of high-spatial-resolution data. For spacecraft altitudes below 350 kilometers, NAC images are acquired with pixel scales ranging from 20 meters to as little as 2 meters.
Image ID: 6624807, 6626880
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 82.8°
Center Longitude: 38.9° E
Resolution: 7 meters/pixel
Scale: This crater has a diameter of 7.2 kilometers (4.5 miles)
Incidence Angle: 82.8°
Emission Angle: 38.9°
Phase Angle: 84.2°
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.