Astronomy Picture of the Day
January 31, 2013

Features of Mannann'an Crater
Features of Mannann'an Crater

Credits: NASA/JPL/Univ. of Arizona - Galileo Project; Credits fo the additional process. and color.: Dr Paolo C. Fienga/LXTT/IPF

This composite view taken by the NASA - Galileo Spacecraft, shows a portion of the Rim and the Interior of the Impact Crater known as Mannann'an, which is located on Jupiter's moon, Europa. A high resolution image (20 meters per picture element) was combined with a lower resolution one (80 meters per picture element), to produce this composite picture. The color data here can be used to distinguish between Regions where the Ice located on the Surface of Europa is purer (---> cleaner) from other areas where the Ice itself, instead, is more contaminated (---> dirty; mixed with other elements); the reddish/brown Surface Material visible to the West (Left side - Sx) of the frame is thought to be "dirty" Ice, while the white/bluish areas visible inside the Crater should be made of "cleaner" Ice. The Rim of Mannann'an is (barely visible) on the left of the composite, approx. at the boundary between the area with the higher concentration of reddish/brown Surface Material and the area where the white Surface Material is dominant. The high resolution data show several small Surface Features inside this Impact Crater, including Concentric Fractures and a Spider-like set of Fractures near the right (East) edge of the image.

North is to the top of the picture and the Sun illuminates the scene from the East (right - Dx). The image, which is centered at North Latitude and 240° West Longitude, covers an area of approximately 18 by 4 Km (such as about 11,12 by 2,48 miles). The finest details that can be discerned in this picture are about 40 meters (44 yards) across. The images were taken by the Solid State Imaging Camera onboard Galileo, when the Spacecraft flew by Europa on March 29th, 1998, at a distance of 1934 Km (such aapprox. 1201 miles) from its Surface.

This frame (which is an Original NASA - Galileo Spacecraft false colors image composite published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 01402) has been additionally processed and then re-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 human eye would actually perceive if someone were onboard the NASA - Galileo Spacecraft and then looked outside, towards the Surface of the Jovian moon Europa), 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 others, the existence of different Elements present on the Surface of Europa, each having a different Albedo (---> Reflectivity) and Chemical Composition.

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