Mercury's Rivers of Craters

Mercury's Rivers of Craters

This view captured by MESSENGER's wide angle camera (WAC) shows many secondary crater chains that originated from a primary impact crater located outside this image to the west. The secondary crater chains are formed as the parent crater-forming event launches ejecta into the surrounding area. The chunks of ejecta dig out their own craters which sometimes overlap to form a long valley-like depression. These features are striking though not uncommon on Mercury's battered surface.

  • Catalog Number: NASA-PIA14379
  • Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
  • For print or commercial use please contact NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Large JPEG (640 x 640 pixels)