Astronomy Picture of the Day
February 27, 2014

Venusian Starfish-looking Impact Crater
Venusian Starfish-looking Impact Crater

Credits: NASA/JPL - Magellan Project - Credits for the additional process. and color.: Dr Paolo C. Fienga/LXTT/IPF

This NASA - Magellan Spacecraft's Radio-Image shows us an Unnamed Impact Crater located in the central Eistla Region, of the Equatorial Highlands of Venus. The Crater is centered at approx. 15° North Latitude and East Longitude. Just to give you an idea of the dimensions that we are dealing with here, consider that the image is roughly 76,8 Km (such as about 47,69 miles) wide.

The Unnamed Impact Crater is slightly irregular in its "Platform" (---> the "Bowl-like Surface Depression" that makes it) and it is approximately 6 Km (such as about 3,7 miles) in diameter. Furthermore, the Inner Walls of the Crater appear deply Terraced, and five or six Lobes of Radar-Bright Ejecta radiate up to 13,2 Km (such as approx. 8,19 miles) from the Crater's Outer Rim. These Lobes are up to about 3,5 Km (roughly 2,17 miles) wide, and form some kind of a "Starfish Pattern" against the underlying Radar-Dark Plains.

The asymmetric Pattern of the Ejecta Blanket suggests that the angle of impact was quite oblique. On the other hand, the alignment of two of the Ejecta Lobes along Fractures located in the underlying Plains is - apparently - merely coincidental.

This frame (which is an Original NASA - Magellan Spacecraft Radio-Image published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the n. PIA 00466), since it is just a Radio-Image of the Venusian Surface and NOT a real view of it, has been colorized, according to an educated guess carried out by Dr Paolo C. Fienga (LXTT-IPF), in what they could reasonably be its possible Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that a human eye would perceive if someone were onboard the NASA - Magellan Spacecraft and, once the thick layer of Venusian Clouds and Fogs is completely overcome, looked down, towards the Surface of Venus itself), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team.

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