Mena Crater

Mercury's Mena crater.  Click for larger. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Mercury’s Mena crater. Click for larger. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

The MESSENGER spacecraft is still going strong around Mercury the closest planet to the Sun. Considering the environment this spacecraft is doing spectacular work.

This is Mena crater, nice resolution too as this crater is 15 km (9 mi) across. I keep thinking “wings” coming out of the crater. Check the links in the image caption below to put things in perspective.

From the MESSENGER website:

Here we get a closer look at the fresh, bright-rayed crater Mena. Solidified impact melt forms a smooth pond on the western side of the crater floor. This asymmetry is due to the fact that Mena formed on the sloping rim of an older crater, as seen in this wider view.

This image was acquired as a targeted set of stereo images. Targeted stereo observations are acquired at resolutions much higher than that of the 200-meter/pixel stereo base map. These targets acquired with the NAC enable the detailed topography of Mercury’s surface to be determined for a local area of interest.

One thought on “Mena Crater

  1. Interesting thought. Actually, it looks like a dragon. The very dark spot left of center is the dragon’s left eye; it’s left horn is right above that. The down-turned mouth just below the eye even has a little Chinese style dragon mustache streaming off to the dragon’s right, while its right wing curls back over the top.
    Thanks for the head start on the pareidolia!

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