Rembrandt impact basin

Rembrandt impact basin

Fig. 6.14 . This well-preserved impact basin was discovered in images taken from the MESSENGER spacecraft. Named Rembrandt, after the Dutch painter, it is about 715 kilometers in diameter. Scientists estimate that it was formed about 3.9 billion years ago, near the end of the period of heavy bombardment of the inner solar system. Although ancient, the distributions of smaller craters on its surface indicate that Rembrandt is younger than many other impact basins on Mercury. The basin and some of the small craters have also been flooded by effusive volcanic flows with a smooth appearance. Multi-colored images of the crater floor indicate areas with unusually high amounts of iron and titanium. (Courtesy of NASA/JHUAPL/SSI/CIW.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University