Saturday, January 19, 2013

New Blue Impact Crater on Mercury

In the lower left portion of today's image is a small, young, rayed impact crater. The rays have a typical bluish cast in this color presentation. The relatively blue color in this case is caused partly by the extreme youth of the rays (surfaces exposed to the space environment of Mercury for long periods tend to "redden" and darken). In addition, the crater formed in a dark, bluish terrain called the "Low Reflectance Material." The tan area toward the top of the image is "intermediate terrain."

Date acquired: November 30, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 231181189, 231181209, 231181193
Image ID: 1078917, 1078922, 1078918
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: -34.19°
Center Longitude: 133.6° E
Resolution: 647 meters/pixel
Scale: The small rayed crater is about 16 km (10 mi.) in diameter.
Incidence Angle: 54.9°
Emission Angle: 3.9°
Phase Angle: 58.7°

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

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