Astronomy Picture of the Day
October 20, 2013

Kosho Crater (CTX Frame)
Kosho 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 picture, taken by the NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft on September, 17, 2013, shows us the Mercurian Impact Crater named "Kosho", which sits in a relatively high Latitude of Mercury's Northern Hemisphere. Kosho Crater, which is approx. 65 Km (such as ~ 40,36 miles) in diameter, is a Complex Crater with a very peculiar and really pointed Central Peak. As a matter of fact, the long shadow visible in this image (the Sun was VERY low on the Local Horizon - 6,7° - at the time when the picture was taken) dramatically accentuate Kosho's Central Peak, which is approximately 2 Km (such as ~ 1,24 miles) high. Kosho Crater has been so named after a thirteenth century's Japanese sculptor who was very famous for his depictions of Buddhist Monks.

Date acquired: September, 17th, 2013
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 21703926
Image ID: 4836915
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 60,01° North
Center Longitude: 220,20° East
Solar Incidence Angle: 83,3° (meaning that the Sun, at the time that the picture was taken, was about 6,7° above the imaged Local Mercurian Horizon)
Emission Angle: 55,3°
Sun-Mercury-Messenger (or "Phase") Angle: 28,0°

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 17529) 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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