Because of the small axial tilt of Mercury's pole of rotation, several of the craters in this south polar image are shrouded in permanent shadow. Earth-based radar observations have found that these craters also host radar-bright material that is likely water ice. In the furthest southern portion of this image, the rim of the large crater Chao Meng-Fu rises from the darkness.
Date acquired: September 07, 2011
Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington