Astronomy Picture of the Day
January 13, 2016

Kupalo Crater (CTX Frame)
Kupalo Crater (CTX Frame)

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

This beautiful Contextual Image (or "CTX Frame", for short) of the Dwarf Planet 1-Ceres, taken by the NASA - Dawn Spacecraft on December, 21, 2015, shows us, almost in its entirety, Kupalo Crater, such as one of the youngest Impact Craters ever found - so far - of 1-Ceres. This Crater has - as you can clearly see here - bright Material (whose true origin is still unknown, but some Planetary Scientists believe that it could be a mixture of Salts and Silicates) very well exposed on its Rim and, in particular, on its Inner Walls.


Its - always relatively speaking - flat Floor, most likely, formed from Impact Melt and Debris. Kupalo Crater, which measures approx. 16 miles (such as about 25,749 Km) across and is located at 1-Ceres' Southern Mid-Latitudes, has been so named after the Slavic God of vegetation and harvest.


The original photo was taken from an altitude of approx. 240 miles (such as about 386,2416 Km) from the Surface, with a resolution of roughly 120 feet (such as about 36,576 meters) per pixel.


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 20192) 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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