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MESSENGER Global Mercury Mosaic, Based on flybys 1, 2, and 3 (plus M10)
elakdawalla
post Dec 15 2009, 05:47 PM
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MESSENGER Team Releases First Global Map of Mercury

NASA’s MESSENGER mission team and cartographic experts from the U. S. Geological Survey have created a critical tool for planning the first orbital observations of the planet Mercury – a global mosaic of the planet that will help scientists pinpoint craters, faults, and other features for observation...

You can explore the map in USGS Map-a-Planet (which seems to have been redesigned a bit), or download the full resolution version at 500 m/pixel here. That page also has some interesting info on the map's precision:
QUOTE
Control Network:

There are 13 total observation sequences from all three MESSENGER flybys included in the control network.

The existing Mariner 10 base map provided a ground "truth" for the MESSENGER control network. Select MESSENGER images were tied to the Mariner 10 base at seven different ground truth locations. Using ISIS3 software, 5,301 control points (18,834 measurements) were selected in 886 MDIS narrow-angle camera (NAC) images. Highly specialized bundle block adjustment software was used to minimize image boundary mismatches.

The maximum RMS error for the global control is 3.48 pixels. The average RMS error is 0.2 pixels. Pixel density values are in I/F reflectance units. Absolute errors of the MESSENGER bundle adjustment are relative to the base map as reported to be ~25 km [Robinson 1999]. Hun Kal, a small crater defining the longitude system of Mercury, is within ~2.257 km of its predicted position of 20°W longitude.


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JohnVV
post Dec 16 2009, 04:34 AM
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cool i can update my map .
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JohnVV
post Apr 4 2010, 03:54 AM
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i did, a bit lo contrast and still needs some work
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scalbers
post Jun 25 2010, 06:29 PM
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Looks like a nice high resolution map there on the USGS site. Perhaps though the "ultimate" map would still have some color information as well as ground based radar data added. Some seams are still there as well - perhaps more of an art vs science consideration? John's version appears to have dealt with this a bit.


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JohnVV
post Jun 25 2010, 09:48 PM
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scalbers
i do a bit of air brushing to remove seams
a link to a screen shot
http://celestiamotherlode.net/catalog/imag...n_van_Vliet.jpg
http://celestiamotherlode.net/catalog/show...p?addon_id=1069

the third shot on that page is not mine
my map but a very,very old hand drawn bump map ( mariner) , that dose NOT line up with the new maps
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peter59
post Dec 8 2010, 11:19 AM
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Messenger team released yesterday a new mosaic:
http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/gallery/scienc...mp;image_id=396
I prepare desktop wallpaper (1280 x 1024) (image was reduced, sharpened and contrasted).

Attached thumbnail(s)
Attached Image
 


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craigmcg
post Dec 8 2010, 06:05 PM
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Google Mercury coming soon?
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nprev
post Dec 9 2010, 12:03 AM
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VERY nice desktop, Peter, just put it up! Thank you!


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peter59
post Feb 9 2011, 06:26 PM
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3 new mosaics released.
http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/
Wow !


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Free software for planetary science (including Cassini Image Viewer).
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ZLD
post Feb 9 2011, 07:20 PM
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I've always been mystified at how similar Mercury looks to our own moon. Out of curiosity, have any papers ever discussed the possibility of Mercury being a former moon of Venus, or would that be an impossibility in some way?
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ngunn
post Feb 9 2011, 07:39 PM
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Mercury and our Moon are very different on the inside. Mercury has a much higher density, in fact it's denser than Venus despite being much smaller.
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ZLD
post Feb 9 2011, 07:51 PM
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Mercury is almost as dense as the Earth, despite being much smaller as well, yes. I just thought it was odd that I had never read anywhere about the possibility of Mercury being a former moon of Venus, a result of a giant impact similar to Earth, even from crackpot journalists.
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stevesliva
post Feb 9 2011, 09:01 PM
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QUOTE (ZLD @ Feb 9 2011, 03:51 PM) *
Mercury is almost as dense as the Earth, despite being much smaller as well, yes. I just thought it was odd that I had never read anywhere about the possibility of Mercury being a former moon of Venus, a result of a giant impact similar to Earth, even from crackpot journalists.


I'm going to speculate that by the time we knew what Mercury looked like, astronomers had certain ideas about how the planets formed and ended up in their orbits. At least enough to state with certainty that Velikovsky was full of crap.
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schaffman
post Feb 10 2011, 02:00 PM
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QUOTE (ZLD @ Feb 9 2011, 02:20 PM) *
I've always been mystified at how similar Mercury looks to our own moon. Out of curiosity, have any papers ever discussed the possibility of Mercury being a former moon of Venus, or would that be an impossibility in some way?


The answer to the first part of your question is yes: Van Flandern, T.C.; Harrington, R.S. (1976) A Dynamical Investigation of the Conjecture that Mercury Is an Escaped Satellite of Venus. Icarus, 28(435). The tentative answer to the second part is no: the authors concluded that the hypothesis is viable because it cannot be discounted based on Mercury's current orbital dynamics.

Tom
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ZLD
post Feb 10 2011, 02:29 PM
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Thanks Tom, I really appreciate that. I scoured the net for probably 2 hours straight last night, baffled that I was coming up empty handed.
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