Mickey Mouse on Mercury

This image acquired by NASA’s Messenger spacecraft, is to the northwest of the recently named crater Magritte, in Mercury’s south. The shadowing helps define the striking “Mickey Mouse” resemblance, created by the accumulation of craters over Mercury’s long geologic history.  Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Acquired as part of MDIS’s high-incidence-angle base map, is a major mapping activity in MESSENGER’s extended mission.



High incidence angles, achieved when the Sun is near the horizon, result in long shadows that accentuate the small-scale topography of geologic features. The high-incidence-angle base map is being acquired with an average resolution of 200 meters/pixel.

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.

Via messenger