MESSENGER Mercury crater map with help from Mariner 10

Mariner 10 sent back detailed pictures of Mercury during its 3 flybys of 1974-75.  This past Monday, MESSENGER sent back pictures from its second flyby of Mercury.  Using simple visual comparisons between Mariner 10 maps (Kuiper, Beethoven, and Discovery quadrangles) and the wide angle image that MESSENGER sent back this week, I labeled the craters that I could positively identify:

Mercury craters using MESSENGER picture, Mariner 10 maps

Mercury craters using MESSENGER picture, Mariner 10 maps

approximate Polygnotus image boundary

approximate Polygnotus image boundary

The blue box I drew around the Polygnotus and most of the Boethius crater represents a rough outline of this image also sent to Earth by MESSENGER on Monday, taken from an altitude of 1,100 miles.

Finally, I wanted to mention that I tried to identify craters northwest of Lermontov and Li Po using the Mariner 10 Victoria quadrangle image. But the Sun angle was not favorable for this purpose directly north and northeast of Li Po in the MESSENGER image (the most favorable part of the Mariner 10 Victoria quadrangle image). On the other hand, most of the Northwest half of the Mariner 10 image is either significantly distorted or missing image data altogether. The MESSENGER image adds excellent crater clarity to this region.

Thanks to Nancy Atkinson for her post on this subject over on Universe Today.

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