PIA10668: Xiao Zhao's Rays Paint Mercury's Surface

Xiao Zhao’s Rays Paint Mercury’s Surface


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Recently named after the 12th century Chinese artist, Xiao Zhao crater on the central left side of this image is small in comparison with many other craters on Mercury and even with many other craters in this scene. However, Xiao Zhao's long bright rays make it a readily visible feature. The fresh, bright rays, which were created by material ejected outward during the impact event that formed the crater, indicate that Xiao Zhao is a relatively young crater on Mercury's surface.

Date Acquired: January 14, 2008

Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 108828473

Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)

Resolution: 500 meter/pixel (0.3 miles/pixel)

Scale: Xiao Zhao crater is 23 kilometers (14 miles) in diameter

Spacecraft Altitude: 19,760 kilometers (12,280 miles)

Background Info:

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 .

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Mercury
System Mercury
Target Type Planet
Instrument Host MESSENGER
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Extra Keywords Artwork, Crater, Grayscale
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2008-05-19
Date in Caption 2008-01-14
Image Credit NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA10668
Identifier PIA10668