Date Acquired: October 6, 2008
One of the more dramatic craters seen by MESSENGER during its first flyby of Mercury this past January was Vivaldi. Right at the day/night terminator, the crater was slipping away into darkness as Mercury slowly rotated. Two days ago, MESSENGER made its second flyby of the innermost planet, and once again captured a view of Vivaldi, this time at sunrise. Long shadows are draped across the floor of this feature, which is actually considered a "small" double-ring basin despite having a diameter of 213 kilometers (133 miles). The low Sun illumination also highlights ridges, valleys, and chains of craters radiating away from Vivaldi.
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington