Astronomy Picture of the Day
February 6, 2013

Low Sun over Kertesz Crater
Low Sun over Kertesz 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.

This spectacular NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft's image is a mosaic of 3 (three) separate Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) frames. It gives us a close-up look at the enigmatic Kertesz Crater (whose diameter is approx. 31 Km - such as about 19,2 miles) and its very extensive System of Hollows.

Date acquired: Jaunuary, 11th, 2013
Images Mission Elapsed Time (MET) since January 8, 2013: 187422, 187426, 187430
Images ID: 3307043, 3307044, 3307045
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 27,38° North
Center Longitude: 146,3° East
Resolution: 30 meters/pixel
Solar Incidence Angle: 80,5° (meaning that the Sun, at the time that the pictures were taken, was about 9,5° above the imaged Local Mercurian Horizon)
Emission Angle: 16,2°
Sun-Mercury-Messenger (or "Phase") Angle: 64,3°

This picture (which is an Original NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft b/w image mosaic published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 16770) 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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