Astronomy Picture of the Day
September 2, 2014

Seuss Crater and Surroundings
Seuss Crater and Surroundings

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.

In the top left (Sx) porrtion of this image-mosaic (that has been created by putting together three frames taken by the NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft on July, 8, 2014), we can see Seuss: a Complex (and irregularly-shaped) Impact Crater (approx. 64 Km - such as about 39,744 miles - in diameter) with a lot of bright Hollows present and extremely well visible on its Floor.

In this Absolute Natural Color view of the area, the aforementioned Hollows show a very bright white color (with some kind of light gray refelections) and, just outside of Seuss Crater's Rim, you can also see some darker (orange-brown) Material. This Material should be what we call LRM, or Low Reflectance Material, that was - most likely, if not for sure - excavated (---> unearthed) by the Impactor when Seuss Crater formed. To the lef (Sx) of Seuss (right side of the picture, for the Reader) there is, if you look carefully, an extremely old and highly degraded Impact Crater that seems to show some sort of "Terraces" all around its Inner Rim, and with dark (actually, black) Material (of unknown origin) that is clearly visible in the central portion of its severely damaged (by time and impacts) nFloor.

Extending from Seuss Crater there are white and bright Rays (meaning that Seuss Crater is still - of course relatively speaking - "fresh"), which are nothing more but streams of Ejecta that were thrown away from the Crater when the impact occurred. Finally, in the bottom right (Dx) of this image-mosaic, you can see an irregularly shaped (and light orange-yellow colored) Surface Depression that could be one of the many Volcanic Vents that characterize wide areas of the the Surface of Mercury. We, as IPF, humbly disagree with this hypothesis that was made by NASA's Planetary Scientists.

Date acquired: July, 8th, 2014
Images Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 47121909, 47121901, 47121905
Images ID: 6643252, 6643250, 6643251
InstrumentWide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 2,83° North
Center Longitude: 37,11° East
Solar Incidence Angle (at center frame): 15,8° (meaning that the Sun, at the time that the pictures were taken, was about 74,2° above the imaged Local Mercurian Horizon)
Emission Angle (at center frame): 12,2° (meaning that the Spacecraft was not really perpendicular to the imaged Surface at the time when the picture was taken)
Sun-Mercury-Messenger (or "Phase") Angle (at center frame): 28,0°

This picture (which is an Original NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft's enhanced false colors and Map-Projected image-mosaic published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 18695) has been additionally processed, contrast enhanced, Gamma corrected, magnified to aid the visibility of the details and then re-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.

News visualized: 653 times

©2011-2023 - Powered by - All rights reserved