An Optical Illusion
This side-by-side comparison of Basho crater under two different illumination conditions illustrates the importance of MESSENGER's various imaging campaigns. Although the image on the left reveals more about Mercury's surface morphology through exaggerated shadows due to a high solar incidence angle, it fails to display the interesting dark material surrounding the crater's rim or the extensive system of bright rays that become obvious in the image to the right.
Release Date: June 22, 2012
Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington