Astronomy Picture of the Day
November 30, 2013

Warhol Crater
Warhol 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.

The Warhol Impact Crater (approx. 91 Km - such as about 56,511 miles - in diameter) hosts one of the best collections of Hollows that have been found so far on Mercury's Surface. The Crater's Complex and highly irregular Central Peak, in fact, is almost completely surrounded by an unusually-looking  Network of (relatively) small Hollows, as well as by a really smooth Floor that formed, most likely, from Impact Melt. The Hollows seen in the Warhol Crater have high Albedoes, making them very easy to see.

Date acquired: September, 23rd, 2013
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 22253846
Image ID: 4875892
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 2,55° South
Center Longitude: 354,10° East
Solar Incidence Angle: 78,50° (meaning that the Sun, at the time that the picture was taken, was about 11,50° above the imaged Local Mercurian Horizon)
Emission Angle: 35,1°
Sun-Mercury-Messenger (or "Phase") Angle: 113,6°

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 17695) 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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