A New Map of Mercury

Map of Mercury

Three flybys by the MESSENGER probe have revealed much more of Mercury’s surface, and the MESSENGER team and the U.S. Geological Survey have taken the images from those passes (plus earlier Mariner 10 data) to produce a global mosaic map of Mercury that covers 97.7 percent of its surface. (“Map” in cases like this one seems to mean orthorectified spacecraft imagery on a map projection.) Press releases from the MESSENGER team and the USGS, as well as coverage from Universe Today, talk about the challenge of producing such a map from the flyby data, which was imaged from varying angles and altitudes, and in different lighting conditions.

(Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington/U. S. Geological Survey/Arizona State University.)

Previously: Mapping the Solar System: Mercury and Titan.