Astronomy Picture of the Day
February 28, 2014

Features of Lavinia Region
Features of Lavinia Region

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

One of the most useful NASA - Magellan Spacecraft's Standard Data Products is the Full Resolution Mosaic, also known as "F-MIDR" (Full-Resolution Mosaicked Image Data Record). These products are mosaics of about 500 Km (such as approx. 310,5 miles) across, all made by segments of 30 (or more) Individual Image Strips. This image is an F-MIDR made from orbits 376 to 407, obtained between September 15 and September 19, 1990, and part of the first orbits in which the Magellan Flight Team operated the Radar System onboard the Spacecraft in the so-called "Mapping Mode". The mosaic is centered at 27° South Latitude and 339° East Longitude, in the Lavinia Region of Venus.

Three large Unnamed Impact Craters, with diameters ranging from about 37 Km (approx. 22,973 miles) to about 50 Km (such as a little more than 31 miles) can be seen located in an area of heavily Fractured (Volcanic) Plains. As a matter of fact, the three Craters show many Features which are typical of Meteorite-related Impacts, including rough, Radar-Bright Ejecta Blankets, Terraced Inner Walls, relatively Flat Floors (possibly made of "Impact Melt") and large Central Peaks. Numerous Domes - of probable Volcanic Origin - can also be seen in the South/Eastern (Left - Sx) corner of the mosaic. The Domes range in diameter from approx. 1 to 12 Km (such as from about 0,621 to about 7,45 miles), and some of them seem to have Central Collapse Pits, typical of Volcanic Shields and/or Cones. The Resolution of the Magellan Data is about 120 meters (such as approx. 393,59 feet) per pixel.

This frame (which is an Original NASA - Magellan Spacecraft Radio-Image Mosaic published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the n. PIA 00086), 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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