PIA17451: Frozen Fire

Frozen Fire


Today's image shows an unnamed impact crater northwest of Stravinsky. The floor contains an irregular depression (vent) that was likely the site of an explosive volcanic eruption. One such form of eruption is known as a "fire fountain". The subtle yellow-orange cast that surrounds the volcanic depression is the once-molten, but now solidified, pyroclastic material that was deposited during the eruption.

This image was acquired as part of MDIS's high-resolution 3-color imaging campaign. The map produced from this campaign complements the 8-color base map (at an average resolution of 1 km/pixel) acquired during MESSENGER's primary mission by imaging Mercury's surface in a subset of the color filters at the highest resolution possible. The three narrow-band color filters are centered at wavelengths of 430 nm, 750 nm, and 1000 nm, and image resolutions generally range from 100 to 400 meters/pixel in the northern hemisphere.

Date acquired: October 21, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 259322083, 259322075, 259322079
Image ID: 2807348, 2807346, 2807347
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filters: 9, 7, 6 (996, 748, 433 nanometers) in red, green, and blue
Center Latitude: 53.62°
Center Longitude: 275.2° E
Resolution: 100 meters/pixel
Scale: The impact crater hosting the volcanic vent is about 24 km (15 mi.) in diameter.
Incidence Angle: 67.2°
Emission Angle: 0.2°
Phase Angle: 67.4°

Background Info:

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. MESSENGER acquired over 150,000 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is capable of continuing orbital operations until early 2015.

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 Color, Crater, Impact, Map, Radio, Volcano
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2013-09-03
Date in Caption 2012-10-21
Image Credit NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA17451
Identifier PIA17451