The global view: Mercury centered at longitude 180 degrees E. On the left, Mercury in enhanced color (the white area indicates areas not yet viewed by MESSENGER with resolution and sun angles suitable for color analysis). The Caloris impact basin can be seen as a distinctive circular feature near the top center (yellow in this color scheme).
On the right, a preliminary interpretive map of Mercury's smooth plains (shades of yellow) and low-reflectance material (blues). The smooth plains cover approximately 40% of the surface mapped thus far. Low-reflectance material, thought to contain iron- and titanium-rich oxide minerals, effects the color and reflectance of at least 15% of the surface.
Last Update: 22 Jun 2011 (AMB)
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington