Topography of a portion of Mercury from 75° N northward to the pole, in shaded relief and color-coded by elevation. The map is centered at 85°N on the 110-km-diameter crater Prokofiev, whose interior lies more than 5 km below the topographic datum. The north pole lies to the left of and below the smaller craters Tolkien and Kandinsky. Because of the inclination of MESSENGER’s orbit, ranging measurements poleward of 83-84°N require spacecraft maneuvers and oblique viewing. Most of the area north of these latitudes has been sparsely covered by MLA to date and is either seldom illuminated by sunlight or lies in permanent shadow.
Date acquired: November 29, 2012
Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington