Buried treasure on Mercury? If so, I’d look here first. This image shows a currently unnamed crater with an “X” emblazoned on it. The perpendicular lines that cross the crater are secondary crater chains caused by ejecta from two primary impacts outside of the field of view, according to MESSENGER scientists. MESSENGER has been in orbit of Mercury since mid-March of this year, and its Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) pivot and Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) spotted this unusual landform. MESSENGER will be mapping more than 90% of Mercury’s surface as part of a high-resolution surface morphology base map that will be created with MDIS.
Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today’s Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT’s Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is the author of the new book “Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos.” She is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.