NASA's Mariner 10 shows a close-up view of one-half of a circular basin the largest observed on Mercury. Hills and valleys extend in a radial fashion outward from the main ring.
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Large Circular Basin - 1300-km diameter

Close-up view of one-half of a 1300-km diameter circular basin the largest observed on Mercury. The other half is hidden beyond the terminator to the left. Hills and valleys extend in a radial fashion outward from the main ring. Interior of the large basin is completely flooded by plains materials; adjacent lowlands are also partially flooded and superimposed on the plains are bowl shaped craters. Wrinkle ridges are abundant on the plains materials. The area shown is 1008 miles (1600 km) from the top to the bottom of the picture. Sun's illumination is from the right. Blurred linear lines extending across the picture near bottom are missing data lines that have been filled in by the computer. Mariner 10 encountered Mercury on Friday, March 29th, 1974, passing the planet on the darkside 431 miles (690-km) from the surface.

The Mariner 10 mission, managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA's Office of Space Science, explored Venus in February 1974 on the way to three encounters with Mercury-in March and September 1974 and in March 1975. The spacecraft took more than 7,000 photos of Mercury, Venus, the Earth and the Moon.

NOTE: This image was scanned from physical media.

Image details

ID#:
PIA02962

Date added:
2000-08-24

Target:
Mercury

Mission:
MVM

Spacecraft:
Mariner 10

Instruments:
Imaging Science Subsystem - Narrow Angle

Rating:



Views:
2,876

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA02962.tif (0.61 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA02962.jpg (0.15 MB)

Image credit:
NASA/JPL