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Basho Crater on Mercury | by Lights In The Dark
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Basho Crater on Mercury

The dark-ringed, bright-rayed crater Basho is visible in this high-resolution image of Mercury's surface taken by the MESSENGER spacecraft. (This is actually a mosaic of several MDIS – Mercury Dual Imaging System – images, taken in January of 2008.) 50 miles in diameter, Basho was first seen by Mariner 10 in 1974. The dark ring around its crater rim is the result of an impact revealing subsurface rock of a different composition than the surrounding terrain.


Following the recently established trend of naming features on Mercury after artists and composers, Basho is named after the 17th-century Japanese haiku poet Matsuo Basho.


I rotated this image 90º ccw, adjusted the levels and sharpened it to enhance surface detail. See the original release of this image on the MESSENGER site here:


Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington. Edited by J. Major.



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Taken on October 26, 2010