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:Look, It’s a Sublimation Formation!

Friday 6 September 2013

Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington.

Mission: MESSENGER.

Instrument: Mercury Dual Imaging System – Narrow Angle Camera.

Located in the crater Eminescu, this high-resolution image shows part of the mountainous peak ring, as well as an example of the extensive formation of hollows located within the crater. Hollows maintain an air of mystery in the realm of planetary science. Though the exact formation mechanism is unknown, most scientists agree sublimation of volatiles holds the answer. This image highlights the prevalence of these hollows on and around the peak ring, as well as captures the beauty of such enigmatic formations.

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 Mercury’s entire surface at this high resolution, but typically several areas of high scientific interest are imaged in this mode each week.

Université Paris-Sud 11 Faculté des Sciences GEOPS CNRS
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