To learn about the unique features on Mercury's surface and unravel its history, the MESSENGER Science Team has pieced together many high resolution images of the planet to form a "mosaic" (check out this cool example!). With the MESSENGER mosaic postcards project you can mimic that scientific process! With this interactive map you can click on the "mosaic puzzle pieces" to explore some of Mercury's fascinating surface features, and choose a button above the planet to see it centered on that longitude. To learn how to print and assemble your own mosaic "puzzle" of Mercury and find other printables, go to the Mosaic Puzzle.
In order to capture the spectacular high-resolution views of Mercury, MESSENGER's Narrow Angle Camera of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) took many images of small areas of the planet's surface. Neighboring images overlapped by about 10% to ensure complete coverage of the planet without any gaps. These individual images were then assembled puzzle-style into a mosaic view of Mercury (check out this cool example!). With the mosaic postcards you can mimic this scientific process. Here you will find all of the materials necessary to create your own mosaic "puzzle" of Mercury. You'll need a blank grid, which is the foundation for your puzzle. Then, you can piece together an image of Mercury by placing the mosaic postcards onto the blank grid in puzzle fashion. You can supplement your puzzle with a few "special feature postcards," each providing more in-depth information about a unique feature on Mercury.