Astronomy Picture of the Day
August 22, 2013

Tyagaraja Crater, again
Tyagaraja Crater, again

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 image, taken by the NASA - Messenger Spacecraft at an highly oblique angle, shows a large portion of the interior of the Mercurian Tyagaraja Impact Crater (approx. 97 Km - such as about 60,23 miles - in diameter and with North being to the right). Complete with Central Peaks, extensive Hollows, and sloping Terraced Walls, this view allows us to get a unique perspective into the Crater and complements other images by adding a different look at the Topography of the Mercurian Surface.

Date acquired: November, 12th, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 229624183
Image ID: 1005096
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 4,40° North
Center Longitude: 211,40° East
Solar Incidence Angle: 9,4° (meaning that the Sun, at the time that the picture was taken, was very high in the Sky, such as about 80,6° above the imaged Local Mercurian Horizon)
Emission Angle: 68,8°
Sun-Mercury-Messenger (or "Phase") Angle: 78,3°

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 17410) has been additionally processed, contrast enhanced, magnified, Gamma corrected and then colorized in Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that an average 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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