This is the highest resolution image taken to date of the planet Mercury! It shows an area just outside of a 33-km-diameter (21-mi.-diameter) crater to the southwest of Gauguin crater. The smooth areas here are likely filled with melt that was made and ejected as the crater formed. Only five images at resolutions better than 10 m/pixel have been taken in MESSENGER's first two years of orbital operations. If MESSENGER's second extended mission is approved, many more high-resolution images like this are planned.
Date acquired: April 30, 2012
Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington