A Tale of Two Terrains
This image shows a southern portion of the Mendelssohn impact basin. The smooth plains in the top (north) half of the image contrast sharply with the rugged, heavily cratered geological unit that forms the basin rim. The smooth plains were formed by eruption of highly fluid lavas that covered the basin floor. The Sun was low on the horizon when the image was captured, and the resulting shadows reveal the presence of ridges in the plains that mark the rims of impact craters buried by the lavas.
Date acquired: December 05, 2011
Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington