Astronomy Picture of the Day
June 13, 2014

Bartok's Central Uplift
Bartok's Central Uplift

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.

Bartok Crater is a large (approx. 117 Km - such as about 72,657 miles - in diameter), Complex Mercurian Impact Crater located in the Southern Hemisphere of the Innermost Planet of the Solar System; it is well visible here, in this image-mosaic made out of three pictures taken by the NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft on November, 13, 2013, almost at the center of the mosaic itself.

In this Absolute Natural Colors image, Bartok's Central Peak appears of a of a very dark gray (almost black) color, and it stands out much darker than the Surrounding Surface. This circumstance clearly suggests that the Central Uplift of Bartok Crater is basically composed of Material that possesses way different chemical and mineralogical properties as to the Terrain that lays all around it, thus providing Planetary Scientists with some clues about the Geologic History of this specific Southern Mercurian Region.

To the South/West (lower left - Sx - side) of Bartok Crater, a relatively young Impact Crater with a stunning Rays' System is also very well visible.

Date acquired: November, 13th, 2013
Images Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 26540775, 26540771, 26540769
Images ID: 5180966, 5180964, 5180963
InstrumentWide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 29,48° South
Center Longitude: 224,90° East
Solar Incidence Angle: 51,4° (meaning that the Sun, at the time that the picture was taken, was about 38,6° above the imaged Local Mercurian Horizon)
Emission Angle: 27,9°
Sun-Mercury-Messenger (or "Phase") Angle: 79,0°

This picture (which is an Original NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft's b/w and Map-Projected image published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 18514) 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.

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