Astronomy Picture of the Day
May 28, 2013

Bartok Crater
Bartok 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 beautiful picture of the Surface of the Planet Mercury's Southern Hemisphere, taken by the NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft on April 26, 2013, shows us, among other interesting Features, the Complex Impact Crater Bartok (which has a diameter of approx. 117 Km - such as about 72,657 miles), as well as a small portion of the South/Eastern Liimb of the Innermost Planet of the Solar System. The White Spot that also lies towards the East - right (Dx) - of Bartok Crater is the site of a very young (always relatively speaking) and bright Unnamed Rayed Impact Crater whose Inner Diameter is approximately 11 Km (such as about 6,83 miles). North is towards the upper left (Sx) corner of the image.

Date acquired: April 26th, 2013
Images Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 9290850, 9290842, 9290838
Images ID: 3954216, 3954214, 3954213
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 34,00° South
Center Longitude: 221,10° East
Solar Incidence Angle: 40,8° (meaning that the Sun, at the time that the picture was taken, was about 49,2° above the imaged Local Mercurian Horizon)
Emission Angle: 58,2°
Sun-Mercury-Messenger (or "Phase") Angle: 28,0°

This picture (which is an Original NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft's Natural Color image-mosaic published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 17054) has been additionally processed, contrast enhanced, magnified and then re-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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