The crater pictured in the center of this image was recently named Picasso , in honor of the Spanish painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso (1881-1973). This crater, first imaged during MESSENGER's third Mercury flyby , has drawn scientific attention because of the large, arc-shaped pit located on the eastern side of its floor. Similar pits have been discovered on the floors of several other Mercury craters, such as Beckett and Gibran . These pits are postulated to have formed when subsurface magma subsided or drained, causing the surface to collapse into the resulting void. If this interpretation is correct, pit-floor craters such as Picasso provide evidence of shallow magmatic activity in Mercury's history.
September 29, 2009
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Resolution: 500 meters/pixel (0.31 miles/pixel)
Scale: The diameter of Picasso is 133 kilometers (83 miles)
Projection: This image is a portion of the NAC approach mosaic from Mercury flyby 3 . It is shown in a simple cylindrical map projection .
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||Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)|
|Detector||Narrow Angle Camera (NAC)|
|Extra Keywords||Crater, Grayscale, Map|
|Date in Caption||2009-09-29|
|Image Credit||NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington|