Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 9:10 EDT
In Focus Paestum Vallis
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In Focus: Paestum Vallis

May 16, 2013
Release Date: May 9, 2013 Topics: Volcanism, WAC Date Created: March 26, 2013 Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) Feature Latitude Range: 59.1° N to 61.0° N Feature Longitude Range: 124.0° E to 128.5° E Feature Diameter: 96 km Projection: Azimuthal equidistant Of Interest: This image shows the fourth of five broad channels on Mercury for which names were recently approved. The valleys are named according to the theme of "abandoned cities (and towns and settlements) of antiquity" that was developed especially for these landforms. The vallis shown in this figure is named for Paestum, a major Greco-Roman city in the Campania region of Italy. The city may have been founded in the 7th century BCE, but became a Roman city in 273 BCE. Paestum is renowned for its remaining Doric temples and a number of painted tombs, which date from the 5th century BCE. This image is a portion of the MDIS global mosaic basemap that was acquired during MESSENGER's first year in orbit. 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. During the first two years of orbital operations, MESSENGER acquired over 150,000 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is capable of continuing orbital operations until early 2015. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington