A NASA Discovery mission to conduct the first orbital study
of the innermost planet
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Release Date: May 31, 2013
Topics: Global Views, HD Resolution Images, Mosaics, Polar

Instrument: Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Map Projections: Top polar views are in polar stereographic. The bottom global view is in simple cylindrical.
Top Left: North polar view to 65° latitude, with 180° longitude at the top
Top Right: South polar view to -65° latitude, with 0° longitude at the top
Bottom: Global view from 90° to -90° latitude, 0° to 360° longitude, with 0° longitude in the center
Scale: Mercury's diameter is 4880 kilometers (3030 miles)
Download Full Resolution Mosaics: Global Mosaics webpage

Of Interest: 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) on March 8, 2013, as the base. The full resolution mosaics are available for download on MESSENGER's Global Mosaics webpage.

To fill the area near the north pole, the PDS product was trimmed northward of 83°N and an average mosaic that extended from 82.5°N to 90°N was used, averaging the 0.5° latitude overlap between the PDS mosaic and the average north polar mosaic. To fill the area near the south pole, the PDS product was trimmed southward of 85.5°S and an average mosaic that extended from 85°S to 90°S was used, again averaging the 0.5° latitude overlap. Any remaining gaps in the global mosaic were filled by using images obtained in support of the high-incidence imaging campaign.

The MESSENGER spacecraft is the first ever to orbit the planet Mercury, and the spacecraft's seven scientific instruments and radio science investigation are unraveling the history and evolution of the Solar System's innermost planet. During the first two years of orbital operations, MESSENGER acquired over 150,000 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is capable of continuing orbital operations until early 2015.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

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


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