PIA11350: Vivaldi: At Sunset and Now at Sunrise

Vivaldi: At Sunset and Now at Sunrise


One of the more dramatic craters seen by MESSENGER during its first flyby of Mercury this past January was Vivaldi (see PIA10175 ). Right at the day/night terminator, the crater was slipping away into darkness as Mercury slowly rotated. Two days ago, MESSENGER made its second flyby of the innermost planet, and once again captured a view of Vivaldi, this time at sunrise. Long shadows are draped across the floor of this feature, which is actually considered a "small" double-ring basin despite having a diameter of 213 kilometers (133 miles). The low Sun illumination also highlights ridges, valleys, and chains of craters radiating away from Vivaldi.

Date Acquired: October 6, 2008
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 131771928
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Resolution: 250 meters/pixel (0.16 miles/pixel)
Scale: The diameter of Vivaldi crater is 213 kilometers (133 miles)
Spacecraft Altitude: 9,600 kilometers (6,000 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 Sun
System Mercury
Target Type Sun Planet
Instrument Host MESSENGER
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Extra Keywords Crater, Grayscale, Shadow
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2008-10-08
Date in Caption 2008-10-06
Image Credit NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA11350
Identifier PIA11350