Astronomy Picture of the Day
November 29, 2013

Unnamed Mercurian Simple Impact Crater
Unnamed Mercurian Simple Impact Crater

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.

As you know, countless so-called "Simple" (---> such as without any Peak/s and/or Uplift/s in or near their center, as well as which are Layers and Gullies-free) Impact Craters adorn Mercury's Surface. This specific Unnamed Impact Crater lies in the Northern Volcanic Plains of the Innermost Planet of the Solar System and, most likely, it was created way after the end of the powerful Period of Volcanism which occurred in (and globally involved) the Region (and, probably, the entire Planet Mercury), eons ago. Its evenly Raised Rim is still largely and very well preserved, thus suggesting that the Crater is (always relatively speaking) quite young (even though a number of small Impact Craters can easily be seen on its Floor, and this additional circumstance proves that this Impact Crater could even be, as NASA People say, relatively young, but it is certainly NOT recent - and, by "recent", we mean, as IPF, that its formation can be dated to less than a few - ten to one hundred - millions of years ago).

However, according to the Mercurian Standards, this Simple Unnamed Impact Crater is (most) probably many millions of years old. Furthermore, its interior, as you can see, is also slightly raised, and this circumstance could be the result of a deformation caused by a small Wrinkle Ridge that is located just to its Eastern Side.

Date acquired: September, 2nd, 2013
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 20407784
Image ID: 4744802
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 63,40° North
Center Longitude: 336,00° East
Solar Incidence Angle: 63,51° (meaning that the Sun, at the time that the picture was taken, was about 26,49° above the imaged Local Mercurian Horizon)
Emission Angle: 9,49°
Sun-Mercury-Messenger (or "Phase") Angle: 54,02°

This frame (which is an Original NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft's b/w and NON Map-Projected image published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 17742) has been additionally processed, contrast enhanced, magnified to aid the visibility of the details, Gamma corrected 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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