Named for Júlíana Sveinsdóttir, an Icelandic painter and textile artist, Sveinsdóttir crater superimposed by Beagle Rupes is a distinctive feature on Mercury's landscape. Unusually elliptical in shape, the crater was produced by the impact of an object that hit Mercury's surface obliquely. More than 600 kilometers (370 miles) long and one of the largest fault scarps on the planet, Beagle Rupes marks the surface expression of a large thrust fault believed to have formed as Mercury cooled and the entire planet shrank. Beagle Rupes crosscuts Sveinsdóttir crater and has uplifted the easternmost portion (right side portion) of the crater floor by almost a kilometer, indicating that most of the fault activity at Beagle Rupes occurred after the impact that created Sveinsdóttir. Crosscutting relationships such as this are used to understand the sequence in time of the different processes that have affected Mercury's evolution.
Date Acquired: January 14, 2008