Enterprise Rupes, (indicated here with white arrows) about 1000 km long and with over 3 km of relief, is the largest lobate scarp on Mercury! MESSENGER has confirmed that the contraction of Mercury has resulted in a global array of lobate scarps, tectonic landforms that are the surface expression of thrust faults. Many lobate thrust fault scarps, such as Enterprise Rupes, are large, often hundreds of kilometers long, and display hundreds to thousands of meters of relief, in contrast to the small scarps more recently being identified on Mercury.
This image was presented at a press event at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Visit the press event website to learn more!
Instrument: Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Scale: Scale bar of 100 km provided on the image
Center Latitude: -31.56°
Center Longitude: 74.97° E
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. During the first two years of orbital operations, 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.