Mercury: 100% mapped

At the very end of 2012, MESSENGER obtained the final image needed to view 100% of Mercury’s surface under daylight conditions. The mosaics shown here cover all of Mercury’s surface and were produced by using the monochrome mosaic released by NASA’s Planetary Data System (PDS), as the base. The full resolution mosaics have been made available for download on MESSENGER’s Global Mosaics webpage today. The previous, low resolution mosaic covered only 99.9%.

The next mosaic to be completed is the high-incidence angle mosaic, that will show Mercury’s surface topography globally enhanced by long shadows cast by the Sun near the local horizon.

This mosaic released now shows the surface in high Sun conditions (low solar incidence angle), revealing the albedo differences that are invisible when the Sun is low, near the horizon.

Top polar views are in polar stereographic projection. The bottom global view is in simple cylindrical. The maximum resolution of the map is 250m/pixel.

Global photomosaic of Mercury
Global photomosaic of Mercury. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

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