Now imaging inner planet Mercury
from orbit, the MESSENGER spacecraft
wide angle camera has returned
this impressive color
view of Degas Crater,
with a full resolution
of 90 meters per pixel.
the 52 kilometer diameter crater
is also shown in an inset context image from the
flyby mission in the mid 1970s.
In MESSENGER's view,
the crater floor is seen to be filled with
an intricate series of cracks, formed as the molten surface resulting
from the impact cooled and contracted.
Starkly bright, patchy deposits,
suggesting compositional differences and freshly exposed material,
standout around the crater's central peaks and walls.
Details of similar
bright deposits are seen in even higher resolution images from