Astronomy Picture of the Day
June 7, 2014

What a View!
What a View!

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.

Today's APOD (which is a Map-Projected image-mosaic obtained by putting together three frames obtained by the NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft  on April, 14, 2014) features a striking Boundary of smooth and rough Terrain (---> the Boundary of smooth and rough Terrain is approximately 130 Km - such as about 80,73 miiles - long) that is located near the North Pole of Mercury.

If you want your imaginagion to wander a little bit, then think that this rugged Wall of Mountains which stand high right in front of the smooth Terrain, would really create quite a staggering view for an adventurer (or a Rover) who/which had successfully crossed the extremely expansive (---> vast/large) Mercurian Northern Plains.

ate acquired: April, 15th, 2014
Images Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 39881820, 39881827, 39881817
Images ID: 6129196, 6129198, 6129195
InstrumentWide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 81,78° North
Center Longitude: 163,90° East
Solar Incidence Angle: 82,8° (meaning that the Sun, at the time that the picture was taken, was about 7,2° above the imaged Local Mercurian Horizon)
Emission Angle: 54,7°
Sun-Mercury-Messenger (or "Phase") Angle: 28,0°

This picture (which is an Original NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft's b/w and Map-Projected image-mosaic published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 18447) has been additionally processed, contrast enhanced, Gamma corrected, magnified to aid the visibility of the details 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 outside, 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.

p.s.: I deeply apologize to the all the Readers for the fact that, sometimes, the APOD is already available in the early morning hours while, some other time, its publication happens in the early or - just like today - very late afternoon. Unfortunately, I am just a Private Planetary Researcher, with very limited means and time, and I do this entire work alone. So please forgive me if I cannot always maintain a very tight and precise time-schedule for the publication of this daily page. Therefore, I hereby present to you all my deepest apologiesl and, at the same time, I hope you may understand. Thank you very much for all your kindness, interest and support - Dr Paolo C. Fienga (PhD)

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