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MESSENGER Discovers an Unusual Large Basin on Mercury
Dec. 15, 2008

MESSENGER Discovers an Unusual Large Basin on Mercury
Dec. 15, 2008
Title : MESSENGER Discovers an Unusual Large Basin on Mercury
Description : This NAC image shows a view of the interior of a newly discovered large impact basin on Mercury, with a diameter of roughly 700 kilometers (430 miles). The basin was imaged as MESSENGER approached Mercury for the mission’s second flyby of the innermost planet and was visible even on the optical navigation images. However, the high-resolution NAC images acquired as the spacecraft was closer to Mercury revealed unusual features associated with this basin. As seen in this NAC image, the basin floor has a set of radiating fractures that bear a similarity to the extensional troughs of Pantheon Fossae, imaged near the center of Caloris basin during MESSENGER’s first Mercury flyby. The neighboring terrain to the left of this image, which can be viewed in a previously released NAC image, shows a long scarp within this basin. Members of the MESSENGER Science Team are currently mapping the features associated with this unusual basin and investigating the history of its formation and modification.
Date : Dec. 15, 2008
Credit : NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
Source : JHUAPL
File Type : JPG
File Size : 531KB


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