Machaut is the name of a crater, approximately 106 kilometers (66 miles) in diameter, first seen under high-Sun conditions by Mariner 10 in the 1970s. The crater is named for the medieval French composer and poet Guillaume de Machaut. This NAC image shows an amazing new view of Machaut taken during MESSENGER's second flyby of Mercury. The slanting rays of the Sun cast shadows that reveal numerous small craters and intricate features. The largest crater within Machaut appears to have been inundated by lava flows similar to those that have filled most of the floor of the larger feature. The adjacent, slightly smaller crater was formed at a later time and excavated material below the lava-formed surface. MESSENGER science team members will also be studying the shallow ridges that crisscross Machaut's floor.
October 6, 2008
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 131770808
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Resolution: 100 meters/pixel (0.06 miles/pixel)
Scale: This image is about 100 kilometers across (60 miles)
Spacecraft Altitude: 3,900 kilometers (2,400 miles)
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 .
|Instrument Host||MESSENGER||Mariner 10|
|Host Type||Flyby Spacecraft||Orbiter|
|Instrument||Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)|
|Extra Keywords||Crater, Grayscale, Shadow|
|Date in Caption||2008-10-06|
|Image Credit||NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington|