Beagle Rupes
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Beagle Rupes

August 18, 2011
  • Date acquired: June 12, 2011
  • Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 216329524
  • Image ID: 368200
  • Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
  • WAC filter: 7 (748 nanometers)
  • Center Latitude: 0.25°
  • Center Longitude: 102.9° E
  • Resolution: 245 meters/pixel
  • Scale: Image is ~250 km (155 mi) across
  • Incidence Angle: 77.2°
  • Emission Angle: 1.1°
  • Phase Angle: 76.1°

Of Interest: The arcuate ridge in this image, Beagle Rupes, is one of the tallest and longest scarps on Mercury. It is shown here deforming and shortening the elliptical impact crater Sveinsdóttir in the bottom left corner of the image. Beagle Rupes and other scarps on Mercury are thought to be the surface expressions of thrust faults that formed from contraction as the planet's interior cooled.

This image was acquired as part of MDIS's high-resolution surface morphology base map. The surface morphology base map will cover more than 90% of Mercury's surface with an average resolution of 250 meters/pixel (0.16 miles/pixel or 820 feet/pixel). Images acquired for the surface morphology base map typically have off-vertical Sun angles (i.e., high incidence angles) and visible shadows so as to reveal clearly the topographic form of geologic features.

The MESSENGER spacecraft is the first ever to orbit the planet Mercury, and the spacecraft's seven scientific instruments and radio science investigation are unraveling the history and evolution of the Solar System's innermost planet. Visit the Why Mercury? section of this website to learn more about the key science questions that the MESSENGER mission is addressing. During the one-year primary mission, MDIS is scheduled to acquire more than 75,000 images in support of MESSENGER's science goals.

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