Views of Mercury

Last night, I threw the highest resolution imagery and altimetry data available from the Mercury MESSENGER spacecraft onto a quick UV Sphere in Blender. Blender groaned and my laptop moaned, but they managed to render this image:

Mercury - North - v4 - sm

The surface imagery is the 250 meter per pixel mono image from: http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/the_mission/mosaics.html

The elevation data is from Mercury Laser Altimeter Gridded Data Records

I processed the elevation data through my jDem846 software which generates digital elevation model products, in this case a bump/displacement map and a normal map. The Mercury MESSENGER team have only processed North Pole altimetry from Mercury, limiting the range of view that I could model (that’s why you only see the top of the planet in the final image, not the whole thing. I brought those images into Blender to provide extra surface depth. I will attach those image maps below, so feel free to download and make use of them in your own projects (Please give me and the NASA MESSENGER folks credit if you do).

Northern Hemisphere Hypsometric Altimetry:mercury_mla_dem_north-1024x256

Bump/Displacement Map:mercury_mla_bumpmap-v2-1024x512

Normal Map:mercury_mla_normalmap-v2-1024x512

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