MESSENGER went viral in 2012 when it spotted Mickey Mouse on Mercury! The largest of this coincidental collection of craters (Mickey's head), seen towards the top of this image, was recently named in honor of American film maker, actor, animator Walt Disney (1901-1966). North is down in this image.
This image was acquired as part of MDIS's high-resolution surface morphology base map. The surface morphology base map covers more than 99% of Mercury's surface with an average resolution of 200 meters/pixel. Images acquired for the surface morphology base map typically are obtained at off-vertical Sun angles (i.e., high incidence angles) and have visible shadows so as to reveal clearly the topographic form of geologic features.
Date acquired: July 20, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 219617891
Image ID: 525880
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: -66.68°
Center Longitude: 101.7° E
Resolution: 309 meters/pixel
Scale: Disney crater is approximately 113 km (70 mi.) in diameter.
Incidence Angle: 66.9°
Emission Angle: 33.6°
Phase Angle: 100.6°
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. Visit the Why Mercury? section of this website to learn more about the key science questions that the MESSENGER mission is addressing. During the one-year primary mission, MDIS acquired 88,746 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is now in a year-long extended mission, during which plans call for the acquisition of more than 80,000 additional images to support MESSENGER's science goals.
For information regarding the use of images, see the MESSENGER image use policy.