Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
Uploader comment: This image, taken with the Wide Angle Camera (WAC), shows a bright rayed crater in Mercury's southern hemisphere. The rays, created when target material was ejected out onto the surface during the impact that formed the crater, will gradually fade over time due to the effects of Mercury's harsh space environment. The crater is deep enough that the local surface layers were penetrated, exposing low reflectance material (LRM) beneath.
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 250-meter/pixel (820 feet/pixel) morphology base map or the 1-kilometer/pixel (0.6 miles/pixel) color base map. It is not possible to cover all of Mercury's surface at this high resolution during MESSENGER's one-year mission, but several areas of high scientific interest are generally imaged in this mode each week.