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Mickey Mouse Spotted on Mercury!

Friday 7 September 2012

Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/CIW

Mission: MESSENGER.

Instrument: Mercury Dual Imaging System – Narrow Angle Camera.

This scene is to the northwest of the recently named crater Magritte, in Mercury’s south. The image is not map projected; the larger crater actually sits to the north of the two smaller ones. The shadowing helps define the striking "Mickey Mouse" resemblance, created by the accumulation of craters over Mercury’s long geologic history.

This image was acquired as part of MDIS’s high-incidence-angle base map. The high-incidence- angle base map is a major mapping activity in MESSENGER’s extended mission and complements the surface morphology base map of MESSENGER’s primary mission that was acquired under generally more moderate incidence angles. 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.

Université Paris-Sud 11 Faculté des Sciences GEOPS CNRS
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