PIA13133: Hokusai Paints a Wave of Rays

Hokusai Paints a Wave of Rays


Pictured above is an impact crater first imaged during Mercury flyby 2 and drawing scientific attention because of its extensive system of rays, which extend over a thousand kilometers across the planet. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) recently approved the name Hokusai for this spectacular rayed crater. Hokusai is a prominent feature seen in Earth-based radar images of Mercury, and the name Hokusai was suggested by radar astronomer John K. Harmon. The crater's name honors the Japanese painter, draftsman, and printmaker, Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849). Hokusai is perhaps best known for the painting "Mount Fuji Seen Below a Wave at Kanagawa."

Date Acquired: October 6, 2008
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Scale: The diameter of Hokusai is 95 kilometers (59 miles)
Projection: This image is a portion of the global Mercury mosaic . Shown here is a portion of that mosaic, at a resolution of 500 meters/pixel (0.3 miles/pixel) in polar reprojection , an image transformation often used to show high-latitude areas near the north or south poles.

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
Target Type Planet
Instrument Host MESSENGER
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Detector Wide Angle Camera (WAC)
Extra Keywords Crater, Grayscale, Impact, Radar
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2010-05-11
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/PIA13133
Identifier PIA13133