Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Bright Rays of Mena

The young rays of Mena crater contrast brightly against the surrounding surface, though the rays will gradually fade with time. The asymmetric pattern of the rays, with a gap in the south-western direction, may be due to the angle at which the impact that formed the crater occurred, or to the fact that Mena formed on the rim of a larger pre-existing impact crater, as seen in this image.

Date acquired: November 12, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 229581348, 229581352, 229581356
Image ID: 1003074-1003076
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filters: 9, 7, 6 (1000, 750, 430 nanometers) as red, green, blue
Center Latitude: -0.97°
Center Longitude: 234.0° E
Resolution: 257 meters/pixel
Scale: Mena has a diameter of 15 km (9 miles)
Incidence Angle: 29.7°
Emission Angle: 16.3°
Phase Angle: 46.0°

Photo credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

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