Mosaic of Mercury’s Face Is Pockmarked Bliss.

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That is a planet, floating out in space. Gorgeous, pockmarked, rocked by cosmic forces. Specifically, it’s Mercury, and this is a gorgeous mosaic taken by MESSENGER.

Bad Astronomy:

Mercury as seen by the MESSENGER spacecraft in 2008, as it flew by the planet for the first time. It would do so again before finally entering orbit in March 2011. But as it left the smallest planet, it snapped a series of wide angle and high-resolution images.


Gordon used over 30 of the high-res frames from MESSENGER’s Narrow Angle Camera to make this mosaic, and then used images from the Wide Angle Camera to balance the color.

Gordon Ugarkovic is a Croatian software developer. He’s also an amateur image processor… for a sufficiently wide definition of “amateur”. He takes space images and works his prowess on them, creating dramatic and beautiful images like this one of Mercury.


The 25 megapixel image is nothing short of amazing. Scrolling across it is like flying across the planet. I see features there I hadn’t noticed before, like a pale dark streak just south of Mercury’s equator, sharp cliffs called scarps that litter the surface, craters with bright rays of ejected material streaming out of them. It’s breathtaking.

So, so gorgeous.