NASAâ€™s Planetary Data System has unveiled Mercuryâ€™s initial global digital elevation model produced through the use of at least 100,000 images and data collected by the space agencyâ€™s MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistryÂ and RangingÂ spacecraft.
Johns Hopkins UniversityÂ Applied Physics Laboratory said Friday the global DEM details the planetâ€™s lowest and highest elevation and other topographic features.
â€œ[DEM] is the largest control network ever processed using the Integrated Software for Imagers and Spectrometers of the U.S. Geological Survey,â€ Kris Becker, Messenger team member and computer scientist at USGS.
PDS also released a map that shows a view of Mercuryâ€™s volcanic plains in the north pole, a global monochrome map and element concentration maps based on information collected by the space vehicleâ€™s X-ray spectrometer.
PDS is a NASA science mission directorate-sponsored institution that archives and distributes data from NASAâ€™s astronomical observations and other planetary missions.
The APL-built Messenger launched in 2004 and traveled for more than six years before it entered Mercuryâ€™s orbit in 2011.
The spacecraft crash-landed into Mercuryâ€™s surface on April 30, 2015 after over four years of orbiting the planet.