Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Image mosaic and topographic maps of Mercury

November 8, 2018

Map Descriptions

Sheet 1: This image mosaic is based on observations acquired by the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS; Hawkins and others, 2009), an instrument on the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, Geochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft (Solomon and others, 2007). The Mercator projection is used between latitudes ±57°, with a central meridian at 0° longitude and latitude equal to the nominal scale at 0°. The polar stereographic projection is used for the regions north of the +55° parallel and south of the –55° parallel, with a central meridian set for both at 0° and a latitude of true scale at +90° and –90°, respectively. All features greater than 100 km in diameter or length were included unless they were not visible at the printed map scale. Some selected well-known features less than 100 km in diameter or length were also included. For listed references, please open the full PDF.

Sheet 2: This map is based on data acquired by the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS; Hawkins and others, 2009) and Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA; Cavanaugh and others, 2007) instruments on the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, Geochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft (Solomon and others, 2007). The topographic shaded-relief maps were generated from the original MDIS- and MLA-based DEMs with a sun angle of 45° from horizontal and a sun azimuth of 270°, as measured clockwise from north, with no vertical exaggeration. The DEM values were then mapped to a global color look-up table, with each color representing a range of 1 km of elevation. The shaded-relief and color files were then merged and scaled to 1:20,000,000 for the Mercator portion and 1:12,157,366 for the two polar stereographic parts with a resolution of 300 pixels per inch. The two projections have a common scale at ±56° latitude. The Mercator projection is used between latitudes ±57°, with a central meridian at 0° longitude and latitude equal to the nominal scale at 0°. The polar stereographic projection is used for the regions north of the +55° parallel and south of the –55° parallel, with a central meridian set for both at 0° and a latitude of true scale at +90° and –90°, respectively. All features greater than 200 km in diameter or length were included unless they were not visible at the printed map scale. Some selected well-known features less than 200 km in diameter or length were also included. Sheet 2 is offered digitally as a layered PDF with two elevation color ramp options—the original printed version and a multicolored ramp developed by the MESSENGER team for their global products. For listed references, please open the full PDF.

Related Content