Astronomy Picture of the Day
October 25, 2014

Low Sun on the Limb
Low Sun on the Limb

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.

Alver Crater (approx. 152 Km - such as about 94,392 miles - in diameter), once again, graces this image of Mercury's Limb, and this time it can be seen just on the Horizon. Secondary Crater Chains that scour the Surface of Mercury and lead toward the top right (Dx) of the scene, appear to be coming from the Rembrandt Impact Basin, which is located to the North.


Date acquired: July, 29th, 2014
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 48998353
Image ID: 6776362
InstrumentWide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 57,13° South
Center Longitude: 80,69° East
Solar Incidence Angle (at center frame): 84,8° (meaning that the Sun, at the time that the pictures were taken, was about 5,2° above the imaged Local Mercurian Horizon)
Emission Angle (at center frame): 71,4° (meaning that the Spacecraft was very far away from being perpendicular to the imaged Surface at the time when the picture was taken)
Sun-Mercury-Messenger (or "Phase") Angle (at center frame): 91,5°


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 18759) 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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