Astronomy Picture of the Day
November 16, 2012

Collapse Pit inside Geddes Crater
Collapse Pit inside Geddes Crater

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.

Geddes Crater (so named, in March 2010, in honor of Wilhelmina Geddes (1887 - 1955), an Irish stained glass and graphic artist) is well known to be a Mercurian extremely geologically interesting Impact Feature. As you know, the Ridge of Antoniadi Dorsum bisects the Crater, and in the center of the Crater's Floor there is a large Depression with a distinctive orangish hue: a color similar to the one seen in other areas (still on Mercury and elsewhere in the Solar System, such as, for instance, on our Moon) which are (better yet: were) associated with Explosive Volcanism or other phenomena of (perhaps Sulphurous-rich) Outgassing. This recently acquired image reveals new, High-Resolution detail of such a potentially Volcanic Depression (---> a Volcanic - in origin - Collapse Pit, to be more specific, which might have formed as a consequenc of the progressive withdrawal of Subsurface Magma), including the presence of many Hollows (a Surface Feature that, as we know now, is extremely common and that can be found all over the Surface of Mercury and which do not seem to be only related, in our opinion, as IPF, to the verification of Impact Events).

Date acquired: October, 11th, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 258458455
Image ID: 2745982
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 27,15° North
Center Longitude: 330,4° East
Resolution: 28 meters/pixel
Solar Incidence Angle: 74,1° (meaning that the Sun, at the time that the picture was taken, was about 15,9° above the imaged Local Mercurian Horizon)
Emission Angle: 33,2°
Sun-Mercury-Messenger (or "Phase") Angle: 107,3°

This picture (which is an Original NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft b/w frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 16302) has been additionally processed 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 down, 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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