Astronomy Picture of the Day
August 7, 2013

Apollodorus Crater (CTX Frame)
Apollodorus Crater (CTX Frame)

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 highly suggestive image, acquired by the NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft on June 29, 2013, shows us the magnificent Central Uplift of Apollodorus Crater (approx. 41 Km - such as about 25,46 miles - in diameter): an old Impact Crater located near the center of the Mercurian Region known as Caloris Basin. These kind of Peak Structures form when a huge quantity of (molten, Rocky) Material is - litterally - uplifted from the depth (---> from underneath the area where the Impact Crater formed), as a result of the Impact Process.

Date acquired: June, 29th, 2013
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 14849521
Image ID: 4349591
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 30,56° North
Center Longitude: 163,30° East
Solar Incidence Angle: 77,4° (meaning that the Sun, at the time that the picture was taken, was about 12,6° above the imaged Local Mercurian Horizon)
Emission Angle: 32,6°
Sun-Mercury-Messenger (or "Phase") Angle: 110,0°

This picture (which is an Original NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft's b/w and Map-Projected image published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 17398) has been additionally processed, contrast enhanced, magnified 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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