Rhapsody on an Impact Event: Mercury’s Rachmaninoff Crater

The peak-ringed interior of Mercury’s Rachmaninoff crater

Rachmaninoff is a spectacular double-ring basin on Mercury, and this color view is one of the highest resolution color image sets acquired of the basin’s floor. Visible around the edges of the frame is a circle of mountains that make up Rachmaninoff’s peak ring structure. The color of the basin’s floor inside the peak-ring differs from the darker material outside of it, and contains concentric troughs formed by extension (pulling apart) of the surface, likely as the molten surface solidified and cooled in the wake of the initial impact event.

This image was acquired as a high-resolution targeted color observation by MESSENGER on July 31, 2012. See a wider-angle view of the 140-km-wide Rachmaninoff crater here.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington


  1. MarsFKA says:

    The grammar nazis out here are cringing over your headline.
    Also, next time you post an article on a dark background, could you please use a light-coloured font?
    Thank you.


  2. I hear they have also found ice at the poles of Mercury. So strange when you think of how close mercury is to the sun


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