This image shows two craters that formed from impacts on Mercury's surface at a very similar location. The largest crater in this image is named Carducci, in honor of the Italian poet Giosue Carducci (1835-1907). The smaller crater that is located near the center of Carducci has a diameter of approximately 20 kilometers. We can deduce that the smaller crater is younger than Carducci because the impact that formed the smaller crater destroyed a portion of Carducci's central peaks and a large impact crater like Carducci would have obliterated any evidence of the smaller crater if the smaller crater had existed previously. Simple superposition relationships like this are being applied all over Mercury's surface, to determine the relative age and timing of events in Mercury's past.
Date acquired: April 01, 2012
Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington