Astronomy Picture of the Day
September 1, 2014

Hit on the side...
Hit on the side...

Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington and Dr Paolo C. Fienga/LXTT/IPF for the additional process. and color.

This image (approx. 9 Km - such as about 5,589 miles - across), taken by the NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft on July, 19, 2014, features the Eastern Edge and Rim of a Simple Unnamed Impact Crater located in the Northern Smooth Plains of Mercury.


Superimposed, on the Inner Eastern Wall of this Unnamed Impact Crater, there is another oblong-shaped Unnamed Impact Crater. The smaller oblong-shaped Impact Crater is elliptical because, most likely, it formed on a Slope of the larger Crater's Wall, after a very oblique descent (---> fall). It also appears that this (Always relatively speaking) small Impact Event, caused some Material (Dust and small Rocks, maybe?) to slide down the bigger Crater's Inner Wall, which can be seen in this High-Resolution Image.


Other (and even smaller) Impact Craters (or, maybe, evidence of the passing of Ejecta) can easily be spotted on the very Edge of the Eastern Rim of the larger Impact Crater.


Date acquired: July, 19th, 2014
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 48103544
Image ID: 6712882
InstrumentNarrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 72,72° North
Center Longitude: 313,70° East
Solar Incidence Angle (at center frame): 78,6° (meaning that the Sun, at the time that the pictures were taken, was about 11,4° above the imaged Local Mercurian Horizon)
Emission Angle (at center frame): 0,3° (meaning that the Spacecraft was almost perpendicular to the imaged Surface at the time when the picture was taken)
Sun-Mercury-Messenger (or "Phase") Angle (at center frame): 78,9°


This picture (which is an Original NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft's b/w and NON Map-Projected image published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 18692) has been additionally processed, contrast enhanced, Gamma corrected, magnified to aid the visibility of the details and then colorized in Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that a human eye would actually perceive if someone were onboard the NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft and then looked outside, towards the Surface of Mercury), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team. Different colors, as well as different shades of the same color, mean, among other things, the existence of different Elements (Minerals) present on the Surface of Mercury, each having a different Albedo (---> Reflectivity) and Chemical Composition.



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