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Images from MESSENGER
Highlights Collection   Global Mosaics   Featured Image Database

Highlights Collection

A select series of images highlighting MESSENGER's scientific discoveries and accomplishmentsFor information regarding the use of MESSENGER images and videos, see the image use policy.

Awesome Abedin

Awesome Abedin

A highly oblique view shows the features in Abedin crater.

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A Striking Perspective

A Striking Perspective

Carnegie Rupes, a large tectonic landform, cutting through Duccio crater

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Orange Is the New Blue

Orange Is the New Blue

The craters Poe, Sander, and Munch have excavated rocks once buried below Mercury's surface.

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The Ups and Downs of Mercury's Topography

The Ups and Downs of Mercury's Topography

The topography of Mercury's northern region, as mapped by MESSENGER's laser altimeter, show features such as volcanic plains and craters thought to host water ice.

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Mercury's Sodium Tail

Mercury's Sodium Tail

Mercury's sodium atmosphere forms a glowing, orange, comet-like tail. Find out how this happens in "Learn More."

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Showing Some Chemistry

Showing Some Chemistry

MESSENGER mapped Mercury's chemical composition and discovered striking regions of diversity.

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Gravity Anomalies

Gravity Anomalies

Certain areas of Mercury have more or less gravity than predicted. These gravity anomalies are mapped in color here.

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The Discovery of Hollows

The Discovery of Hollows

The peak ring of Raditladi basin is covered in strange, unexpected, and mysterious hollows.

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Unmasking the Secrets of Mercury

Unmasking the Secrets of Mercury

Measurements made in ultraviolet and infrared light reveal differences in surface materials which help to unravel Mercury's geologic story.

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Shadows in the South

Shadows in the South

Mercury's south pole hosts craters with permanent shadow. This is exciting due to evidence of water ice within such craters.

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High-Resolution Color View from Mercury Flyby 1

High-Resolution Color View from Mercury Flyby 1

Mercury as it appeared to MESSENGER following the mission's first flyby of Mercury

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Expansive Northern Volcanic Plains

Expansive Northern Volcanic Plains

Mercury's northern region is dominated by extensive volcanic plains.

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Mapping Potassium

Mapping Potassium

MESSENGER discovered higher amounts of potassium on Mercury's surface than predicted by some models.

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Mercury's Calcium Exosphere

Mercury's Calcium Exosphere

A model based on MESSENGER data produces a view of Mercury's calcium exosphere.

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Wrinkles on Mercury

Wrinkles on Mercury

A wrinkle ridge extends across Mercury's northern volcanic plains.

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Crazy Kertesz

Kertesz crater hosts an extensive system of hollows.

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Lowlands in Mercury's North

Lowlands in Mercury's North

This image shows a perspective view looking toward Mercury's north and colored by topographic height of the surface. Purple colors are the lowest and white is the highest.

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Flute Music

Flute Music

A high-resolution view inside a volcanic vent

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Colors of the Innermost Planet: View 1

Colors of the Innermost Planet: View 1

An enhanced color, global view of Mercury

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Water Ice on Mercury

Water Ice on Mercury

Mercury's shadowed polar craters provide evidence for hosting water ice.

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The Architect and His Temple

The Architect and His Temple

Apollodorus crater and the radiating troughs of Pantheon Fossae

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The Young Ones

The Young Ones

A high-resolution view of Mercury's hollows

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Hokusai Spectacular!

Hokusai Spectacular!

A mosaic of highly oblique images shows dramatic details of Hokusai crater.

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Fuller Revealed

Fuller Revealed

A view inside the permanent shadow of Fuller crater, where ice is thought to reside

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Caloris Basin - in Color!

Caloris Basin - in Color!

Caloris is the largest impact basin on Mercury.

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Enterprise Rupes

Enterprise Rupes

Enterprise Rupes, the longest fault scarp on Mercury

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A View to the Horizon

A View to the Horizon

A MESSENGER mosaic captures Mercury's horizon

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Highs and Lows of Goethe

Highs and Lows of Goethe

Goethe basin colored by topography

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Have a Gander at Sander

Have a Gander at Sander

Bright hollows dominate the floor of Sander crater.

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A Detailed Look at Raditladi Basin

A Detailed Look at Raditladi Basin

The relatively young Raditladi basin hosts hollows on its peak ring.

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Dramatic Darks of Derain

Dramatic Darks of Derain

Peak-ring basin Derain displays a striking diversity of surface materials.

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High-Resolution View from Mercury Flyby 3

High-Resolution View from Mercury Flyby 3

Mercury, as viewed by MESSENGER during the mission's third Mercury flyby

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The Mighty Caloris

The Mighty Caloris

A large mosaic of Caloris reveals details within the basin.

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Regard Rustaveli

Regard Rustaveli

The 200-kilometer-diameter Rustaveli crater and its ejecta field

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Mercury Globe: 0°N, 0°E

Mercury Globe: 0°N, 0°E

A global mosaic of Mercury from orbital images.

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The Colors of the Northern Plains

The Colors of the Northern Plains

Volcanic features dominate the region near Mercury's north pole.

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Overview of the Impact Region

Overview of the Impact Region

On April 30, 2015, the MESSENGER spacecraft impacted Mercury's surface in this region.

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Hot and Cold

Hot and Cold

Mercury's north polar region is colored by the maximum temperature experienced, showing some shadowed locations are cold enough to host water ice.

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High-Resolution Hollows

High-Resolution Hollows

A look at Mercury's hollows in unprecedented detail.

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Global Mosaics

MESSENGER mapped the planet Mercury under a range of lighting conditions, viewing geometries, spatial resolutions, and colors. Four of the most widely used global mosaic views are provided here in a standard image format. In the table below, the data used to produce these mosaics as well as the data for other global views of the planet are provided in formats frequently used by the scientific community. When downloading the mosaic files, please keep in mind that the file size for some of the high-resolution mosaics can be quite large. To access the colorized global digital elevation model (DEM) created from MESSENGER images, visit this USGS website. For information regarding the use of MESSENGER mosaics, see the image use policy.

Color Mosaic

This mosaic shows Mercury's colors as viewed by placing images from MESSENGER's 1000 nm, 750 nm, and 430 nm narrow-band filters in the red, green, and blue channel respectively. This is not what Mercury would look like to the human eye, but rather by using a wider range of wavelengths, color differences on Mercury's surface can be accentuated beyond those visible to a person. Projection: simple cylindrical, centered on 0° latitude and 0° longitude. Download the full resolution, at 665 meters/pixel (778.9 MB).

Enhanced Color Mosaic Image

Enhanced Color Mosaic

This mosaic shows Mercury's surface in "enhanced color," a term used to describe a color scheme created to emphasize color differences on Mercury's surface. This is not what Mercury would look like to the human eye, but rather by applying mathematical analysis to MESSENGER images, color differences on Mercury's surface can be accentuated beyond those visible to a person. This view uses a global mosaic with  430, 750, and 1000 nm bands and places the second principal component, the first principal component, and the 430/1000 ratio in the red, green, and blue channels respectively. Projection: simple cylindrical, centered on 0° latitude and 0° longitude. Download the full resolution, at 665 meters/pixel (778.9 MB).

Color Mosaic Image

Morphology Mosaic

This monochrome morphology mosaic uses images that contain moderate shadows and that consequently highlight the geologic features on Mercury's surface. During MESSENGER's mission, it was possible to acquire higher resolution monochrome images than color images, and hence this mosaic is available at a higher spatial resolution than the color mosaics. Projection: simple cylindrical, centered on 0° latitude and 0° longitude. Download the full resolution, at 166 meters/pixel (2.1 GB). Or download a version at 665 meters/pixel (192.1 MB), the same resolution as the color mosaics.

Morphology Mosaic Image

Low Incidence Angle Mosaic

This monochrome mosaic complements the morphology mosaic by using images that minimize shadows on the surface, and hence this monochrome mosaic highlights different reflectance properties of the materials on Mercury's surface. During MESSENGER's mission, it was possible to acquire higher resolution monochrome images than color images, and hence this mosaic is available at a higher spatial resolution than the color mosaics. Projection: simple cylindrical, centered on 0° latitude and 0° longitude. Download the full resolution, at 166 meters/pixel (1.9 GB). Or download a version at 665 meters/pixel (172.9 MB), the same resolution as the color mosaics.

Low Incidence Angle Mosaic Image

Mosaics in Scientific Data Formats

All of the files provided below were assembled by mosaicking products that are available in NASA's Planetary Data System (PDS) from MESSENGER's PDS 15 delivery from May 6, 2016. The table below provides the full global mosaics in some formats commonly used by the scientific community. For additional information and details about each mosaic, or to produce formats that are not provided below, please visit the PDS website to access the full archived MESSENGER files and associated documentation. Additionally, all of the mosaics below can be explored interactively using ACT-REACT QuickMap.

PDS Mosaic Product

ISIS cubs1
(ppd: pixel per degree)

GeoTIFF2

8-color (MDR)

64 ppd (all backplanes) (17.6 GB)

64 ppd (all backplanes) (17.6 GB)

5-color (MP5)

128 ppd (all backplanes) (2.6 GB)

128 ppd (all backplanes) (2.7 GB)

3-color (MP3)

128 ppd (all backplanes) (21.6 GB)

128 ppd (all backplanes) (21.6 GB)

Moderate incidence angle (BDR)

256 ppd (image plane only) (16.6 GB)
43 ppd (all backplanes) (2.8 GB)

256 ppd (image plane only) (16.6 GB)
43 ppd (all backplanes) (2.8 GB)

Low incidence angle (LOI)

256 ppd (image plane only) (16.6 GB)
43 ppd (all backplanes) (2.8 GB)

256 ppd (image plane only) (16.6 GB)
43 ppd (all backplanes) (2.8 GB)

East illumination (HIE)

256 ppd (image plane only) (16.6 GB)
43 ppd (all backplanes) (2.8 GB)

256 ppd (image plane only) (16.6 GB)
43 ppd (all backplanes) (2.8 GB)

West illumination (HIW)

256 ppd (image plane only) (16.6 GB)
43 ppd (all backplanes) (2.8 GB)

256 ppd (image plane only) (16.6 GB)
43 ppd (all backplanes) (2.8 GB)

1 ISIS cubs are used with the USGS Integrated Software for Imagers and Spectrometers (ISIS)

2 GeoTIFF files are 32-bit and have NULL pixels with extreme values (see values and explanation here). This often results in the image appearing blank when using a default stretch. A manual stretch to relevant Mercury reflectance values is required; 0 to 0.2 is often a good starting point.

Featured Image Database

Click on each topic below to view relevant images and data.

Download a kml file with information about the images in the MESSENGER Featured Image Database.

For information regarding the use of MESSENGER images and videos, see the image use policy.

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