She Paints Words in Red
At the center of today's image is a "red spot," an informal designation used by the MESSENGER team to refer to an area with overall high reflectance and higher than average reflectance at the longer-wavelength (red) end of the spectrum. Red spots are thought to be sites of explosive (pyroclastic) volcanic eruptions. Such deposits were analyzed in a 2011 paper. A close-up of the crater at the center of the red spot was presented in a previous Gallery image. The crater neat the left edge of the image with bright floor deposits (hollows) is Theophanes.
Date acquired: December 14, 2011
Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington