Astronomers have discovered on Mercury Mickey Mouse

Astronomers have discovered on Mercury silhouette of Mickey Mouse (PHOTOS)

Probe U.S. space agency NASA Messenger, launched in 2004, and in March 2011 exploring Mercury, captured on the surface of the planet silhouette of Mickey Mouse, according to Universe Today.

Image of Disney's famous little mouse, placed on the official website of the space mission are three craters: the central crater — 105 kilometers in diameter — on the sides decorated with two smaller craters that resemble ears rodent. The very same crater Mickey Mouse is to the north west of the large crater Magritte, located at the south pole of the planet.

The photo was taken on June 3 with the narrow-angle camera NAC in the campaign for the shooting of Mercury's surface at low angles of incidence of sunlight, said RIA "Novosti". At a time when the sun is very low on the horizon, the pictures are clearly visible slightest bumps — they cast long shadows, allowing you to make very accurate maps. Image resolution is 188 meters per pixel.

Mercury — the closest to the Sun and the smallest planet in the solar system. About her know relatively little: almost complete map of Mercury managed to make only in 2009 on the basis of the probe Mariner-10, who studied the planet in 1970, and the Office Messenger, launched in August 2004.

To save fuel, the probe, whose name means "messenger" and is made of words Mercury surface, space environment, geochemistry and ranging: «the surface of Mercury," "space environment", "Geochemistry" and "scaling", decided to send Mercury "detour" and bring it to the orbit by a series of gravity maneuvers, correcting the course and reducing speed through the power of attraction of the planets. March 18, 2011, he became the first artificial satellite of Mercury.

To date, using the aircraft's high-sensitivity cameras and spectrometers probe operating in the infrared and visible light, NASA experts could analyze the chemical and physical properties of Mercury. In particular, the probe discovered characteristics of the magnetic field of the planet (it was shifted by 500 kilometers to the north), the properties of its lithosphere. Messenger also received more than 88,000 images of Mercury's surface.

Source: NEWSru.com

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