Astronomy Picture of the Day
September 29, 2013

Hokusai in the Twilights
Hokusai in the Twilights

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 suggestive and dramatic image features Hokusai Crater (whose diameter is of approx. 114 Km - such as about 70,79 miles) in the foreground. Hokusai Crater one of the most famous Mercurian Impact Craters because of its extensive set of extremely Bright Rays, some of which extend for over a thousand kilometers across the Surface of Mercury.

Such an extensive, Bright Rays' System indicates that Hokusai is one of the youngest (and really large) Impact Craters found on the Planet Mercury. If you wish, you can also take a look at some previously published images of Hokusai Crater (check out the APODs of July, 25th, 2012 and July 1st and 2nd 2013) where you will be able to better see High-Resolution details of its Central Peaks, Rim, Ejecta Blanket, and the Impact Melt that coves most of its Floor.

Date acquired: September, 13th, 2013
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 21704875
Image ID: 4836938
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 58,20° North
Center Longitude: 14,20° East

This picture (which is a crop taken by an an Original NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft's b/w and NON-Map-Projected frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 17514) 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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