Mickey Mouse On Mercury: NASA Photo Reveals Disney’s Multi-Planet Appeal

Disney has a large presence in TV, radio, and film. They have theme parks and resorts in 43 countries. And apparently, they’ve already branded Mercury. A new NASA photo shows three large craters arranged in the shape of the famous Mickey Mouse logo.

Space.com reports that the photo was taken by NASA’s Messenger spacecraft which is currently orbiting Mercury. The Messenger, which was launched in March of last year, is the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury. The spacecraft collected close to 90,000 photographs during its first year and will continue to orbit Mercury with the hopes of capturing another 80,000 or so images.

NASA’s Messenger mission scientists write on Flickr:

“This scene is to the northwest of the recently named crater Magritte, in Mercury’s south. The image is not map projected; the larger crater actually sits to the north of the two smaller ones. The shadowing helps define the striking “Mickey Mouse” resemblance, created by the accumulation of craters over Mercury’s long geologic history.”

ABC News reports that the Mickey Mouse craters on Mercury appear on the south side of the planet near the Magritte crater.

NASA writes:

“This image was acquired as part of MDIS’s high-incidence-angle base map. The high-incidence-angle base map is a major mapping activity in MESSENGER’s extended mission and complements the surface morphology base map of MESSENGER’s primary mission that was acquired under generally more moderate incidence angles. High incidence angles, achieved when the Sun is near the horizon, result in long shadows that accentuate the small-scale topography of geologic features. The high-incidence-angle base map is being acquired with an average resolution of 200 meters/pixel.”

Here’s the photo of Mickey Mouse on Mercury.

mickey mouse