As MESSENGER enters its final days, we are getting our last looks at some of our favorite features. Hollows, discovered in MDIS images during the orbital phase of the mission, are always photogenic. Three small hollows can be spotted in this scene located to the northwest of the Caloris basin near Timgad Vallis, including one that is surrounded by low-reflectance material.
Date acquired: April 14, 2015
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 71304311
Image ID: 8326733
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging
Center Latitude: 59.1°
Center Longitude: 116.2° E
Resolution: 17.1 meters/pixel
Scale: This scene is approximately 17 km (11 miles) across
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.