Astronomy Picture of the Day
November 21, 2013

On the Eastern Edge of Caloris Basin (EDM)
On the Eastern Edge of Caloris Basin (EDM)

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, which is an Extra Detail Magnification (or "EDM" for short) of a crop taken from an image-mosaic made of 3 (three) frames obtained by the NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft on October, 24, 2013, features, in particular, two Unnamed Impact Craters (being the larger one, visible at the top of the image, approximately 54 Km - such as about 33,53 miles - in diameter) that are located in the proximities of the Eastern Edge of the Giant Caloris Basin. These two large Unnamed Impact Craters have excavated (at the time of their formation, and according to NASA's Scientists) "Low Reflectance Material", and they both show extrenmly bright Hollows (which, in fact, caused an oversaturation of the picture in the areas where thay are present) within their relatively flat Floors.

The Orange/Reddish Deposits visible in the North/Eastern Quadrant (---> upper right corner) of the scene, exhibit a so-called "Spectral Signature" that is similar to the one usually left by Pyroclastic Deposits, and this circumstance suggests that this Region (just like way many others on Mercury) might have, once, been the Site of Explosive Volcanism.

Date acquired: October, 24th, 2013
Images Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 24470528, 24960452, 24470516
Images ID: 5033545, 5068359, 5033542
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 23,72° North
Center Longitude: 179,10° East
Solar Incidence Angle: 24,8° (meaning that the Sun, at the time that the picture was taken, was about 65,2° above the imaged Local Mercurian Horizon)
Emission Angle: 8,4°
Sun-Mercury-Messenger (or "Phase") Angle: 33,2°

This frame (which is an an Extra Detail Magnification (or "EDM" for short) of a crop taken from an Original NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft's False Colors and Map-Projected image-mosaic published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 17692) has been additionally processed, contrast enhanced, magnified to aid the visibility of the smaller details, Gamma corrected 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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