Thursday, October 27, 2011

Photo of the Day: Color image of Mercury

Dominici crater, the very bright crater to the top of this image, exhibits bright rays and contains hollows. This crater lies upon the peak ring of Homer Basin, a very degraded peak ring basin that has been filled by volcanism. This image contains several examples of craters that have excavated materials from depth that are spectrally distinct from the surface volcanic layers, providing windows into the subsurface. MESSENGER scientists are estimating the approximate depths of these spectrally distinct materials by applying knowledge of how impacts excavate material during the cratering process. The 1000, 750, and 430 nm bands of the Wide Angle Camera are displayed in red, green, and blue, respectively.