This striking, oblique image of Basho shows the distinctive dark halo that encircles the crater. The halo is composed of "Low Reflectance Material" (LRM) , which was excavated from depth when the crater was formed. Basho is also renowned for its bright ray craters , which render the crater easily visible even from very far away .
This image was acquired as a high-resolution targeted observation. Targeted observations are images of a small area on Mercury's surface at resolutions much higher than the 200-meter/pixel morphology base map. It is not possible to cover all of Mercury's surface at this high resolution, but typically several areas of high scientific interest are imaged in this mode each week.
May 07, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 244751374
Image ID: 1771144
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: -31.66°
Center Longitude: 189.89° E
Resolution: 169 meters/pixel
Scale: The diameter of Basho (the crater featured in this image) is approx. 80 km (50 mi.)
Incidence Angle: 34.8°
Emission Angle: 63.2°
Phase Angle: 79.5°
The MESSENGER spacecraft is the first ever to orbit the planet Mercury, and the spacecraft's seven scientific instruments and radio science investigation are unraveling the history and evolution of the Solar System's innermost planet. Visit the Why Mercury? section of this website to learn more about the key science questions that the MESSENGER mission is addressing. During the one-year primary mission, MDIS acquired 88,746 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is now in a year-long extended mission, during which plans call for the acquisition of more than 80,000 additional images to support MESSENGER's science goals.
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, Radio|
|Date in Caption||2012-05-07|
|Image Credit||NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington|