Shallow craters on Mercury

Shallow craters on Mercury

Fig. 6.9 . This mosaic image was acquired from the MESSENGER spacecraft during its first flyby of Mercury. Many of the impact craters appear to be shallower than similarly sized craters on the Moon. The comparatively high gravity of Mercury helps flatten tall structures like crater walls. Smooth volcanic plains are seen near the center of the image. The large crater to the lower right is 200 kilometers wide. The shadowed area to the right of this crater marks the boundary between the sunlit dayside and dark night side of the planet. (Courtesy of NASA/JHUAPL/CIW.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University