This image shows the wall of a volcanic vent located between the Rachmaninoff basin and Copland crater. The steep wall of the vent reveals high-reflectance layers and outcrops in which hollows are forming. The wall also has beautiful fluting in the form of gullies sculpted by landslides.
This image was presented at a press conference at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, March 16, 2015.
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.
Date acquired: November 29, 2014
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 59620367
Image ID: 7521830
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 36.10°
Center Longitude: 63.95° E
Resolution: 6.7 meters/pixel
Scale: The edges of the image are about 6.7 by 10.4 km (4.2 by 6.4 mi.).
Incidence Angle: 63.3°
Emission Angle: 39.6°
Phase Angle: 102.9°
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.