Astronomy Picture of the Day
February 7, 2013

Poe Crater
Poe 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.

In today's APOD, which is an image-mosaic made of 3 (three) frames taken by the NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft in July 2011, we can enjoy a vision of the huge and magnificent Mercurian Crater Poe (so named after the American writer, and whose diameter is approx. 77 Km - or about 48 miles), with its almost black colored Rim standing out from the reddish Volcanic Plains that surround it. Even in this case, a number of relatively small Hollows speckles the dark Rim of Poe Crater like stars, in the blackness of night.

Date acquired: July, 3rd, 2011
Images Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 218204194, 218204190, 218204186
Images ID: 458399, 458398, 458397
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 42,83° North
Center Longitude: 158,9° East
Resolution: 213 meters/pixel
Solar Incidence Angle: 42,8° (meaning that the Sun, at the time that the pictures were taken, was about 47,2° above the imaged Local Mercurian Horizon)
Emission Angle: 35,9°
Sun-Mercury-Messenger (or "Phase") Angle: 78,7°

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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