Astronomy Picture of the Day
April 3, 2013

Licinia Crater and surroundings
Licinia Crater and surroundings

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

This NASA - Dawn Spacecraft Framing Camera (FC) image of 4-Vesta shows Licinia Crater, which is the large Impact Crater positioned in the center of the picture. Licinia Crater has a fresh, sharp Rim that is scalloped in shape; all around the Inner Walls of Licinia Crater there are many Streaks of Dark and Bright Dusty Material cascading towards the Crater's center. There are also many hummocky Slumps of Material around the Crater's Walls and Base. A large Mound of Material (most likely made of small Rocks and Dust) is well visible in the Crater's center, and the Mound itself is surrounded by more smooth and dark unidentified Material. The possibility that such (as of yet, we repeat, unidentified) smooth Material visible on 4-Vesta's Surface might be the so-called "Impact Melt" is currently under investigation. Licinia Crater is one of the freshest Impact Craters that can be seen in this image.

This area visible here is located in the "Floronia Quadrangle" of 4-Vesta, in the Northern Hemisphere of the Giant Asteroid. The NASA - Dawn Spacecraft obtained this image with its Framing Camera (FC) on October 11, 2011. The image was taken through the Camera's Clear Filter and the distance of the Spacecraft from the Surface of 4-Vesta was, at the time that the picture was taken, of approx. 700 Km (such as a little less than 435 miles); the image has a resolution of about 63 meters (207 feet) per pixel. This picture of Licinia Crater was acquired during the HAMO (---> High-Altitude Mapping Orbit) phase of the mission.

This frame (which is an Original NASA - Dawn Spacecraft b/w image published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 16050) has been additionally processed and then colorized, according to an informed speculation 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 - Dawn Spacecraft and then looked outside, towards the Giant Asteroid 4-Vesta), 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 4-Vesta, each having a different Albedo (---> Reflectivity) and Chemical Composition.

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