PIA14085: Simply Beautiful


Simply Beautiful

Caption:

The crater near the bottom of this image is a beautiful example of a relatively small, simple, fresh impact feature on Mercury. It illustrates the textbook characteristics of a crater in its size range. The crater is nearly bowl-shaped, with just a small flat area in the center of its floor. The walls and rim are sharp and do not appear to have suffered the collapse and terracing that modify larger craters. The bright ejecta and rays are symmetrically distributed around the crater, indicating that the body that struck Mercury to form the crater approached on a path that was not highly inclined from the vertical.

Date Acquired: March 29, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 209894125
Image ID: 65182
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 11.8.°
Center Longitude: 13.9° E
Resolution: 160 meters/pixel
Scale: The bright crater is about 6.4 km (4 miles) in diameter.

Background Info:

On March 17, 2011 (March 18, 2011, UTC), MESSENGER became the first spacecraft ever to orbit the planet Mercury . The mission is currently in its commissioning phase, during which spacecraft and instrument performance are verified through a series of specially designed checkout activities. In the course of the one-year primary mission, the spacecraft's seven scientific instruments and radio science investigation will unravel the history and evolution of the Solar System's innermost planet. Visit the Why Mercury? section of this website to learn more about the science questions that the MESSENGER mission has set out to answer.

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
Mission MESSENGER
Instrument Host MESSENGER
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Detector
Extra Keywords Crater, Grayscale, Radio
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2011-03-30
Date in Caption 2011-03-29
Image Credit NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA14085
Identifier PIA14085