Astronomy Picture of the Day
November 15, 2015

Cratering and Geological History of 1-Ceres (CTX Frame)
Cratering and Geological History of 1-Ceres (CTX Frame)

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA and Dr Paolo C. Fienga for the additional process. and color.

This fascinating Contextual Image (or "CTX Frame", for short) of the Dwarf Planet 1-Ceres, taken by the NASA - Dawn Spacecraft on October, 3, 2015, shows us a giant, ancient and still Unnamed Impact Crater with smaller Impact Craters in its interior (---> on its Floor). The largest Impact Crater also shows us a so-called "Partial Terracing" on its South-Eastern Rim, whereas its Northern part is almost fully degraded. Terraces (---> generally: higher areas separated from lower areas by steep Slopes) are - relatively - common Surface Features in many large-sized Impact Craters. Furthermore, the Floor of the largest Impact Crater is partly covered by smooth Material of unknown origin.


The smaller Impact Crater visible here - toward the South, such as the lower left (Sx) of the frame - is the freshest Impact seen in the picture. If you look at this frame carefully, you may be able to notice that the distinct Rim of the "young" (always Geologically speaking) Impact Crater, along with its Impact Ejecta, covers part of the big Crater's Floor.


The original photo was taken from an altitude of approx. 915 miles (such as about 1472,5461 Km) from the Surface, with a resolution of roughly 450 feet (such as about 137,16 meters) per pixel. The image shows us an area of 1-Ceres which is located (---> centered) at 53° South Latitude and  East Longitude.


This image (which is an Original NASA - Dawn Spacecraft's b/w and NON Map-Projected frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 20121 - Dawn HAMO Image 59) has been additionally processed, extra-magnified to aid the visibility of the details, contrast enhanced and sharpened, Gamma corrected and then colorized (according to an educated guess carried out by Dr Paolo C. Fienga-LXTT-IPF) in Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that a normal human eye would actually perceive if someone were onboard the NASA - Dawn Spacecraft and then looked ahead, towards the Surface of 1-Ceres), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team.



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