Astronomy Picture of the Day
October 4, 2014

Sor Juana Crater (Part II - EDM)
Sor Juana Crater (Part II - EDM)

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 is an Extra Detail Magnification (or "EDM", for short) obtained from an image-mosaic made out of three frames taken by the NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft on April, 7, 2011, which shows us the Impact Crater (approx. 94 Km - such as about 58,37 miles - in diameter) named "Sor Juana". The Crater's interior, as you can see here very well, contains smooth very Material which is, in Planetary Scientists' opinion, just Impact Melt that embays the Complex Central Peak of this Impact Feature. The Crater's Rim is still relatively sharp, with well developed Terraces. You have to notice that Sor Juana Crater does not have its own Rays: in fact, the bright Ray Patches - containing Chains and Clusters of Secondary Impact Craters - that are visible across the Contextual Scene (see yesterday's APOD), originated from the huge Hokusai Crater. 

Sor Juana Crater was so named after Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (Sister Joan Agnes of the Cross): a nun and poet who lived from 1651 to 1695 in what is now Mexico. Some authorities consider her body of work to be the most important in North America until the arrival of 19th Century poets, such as Dickinson and Whitman.

Date acquired: April, 7th, 2011
Images Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 210677654, 210677650, 210677646
Images ID: 102052, 102051, 102050
InstrumentWide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 50,80° North
Center Longitude: 338,80° East
Solar Incidence Angle (at center frame): 50,9° (meaning that the Sun, at the time that the pictures were taken, was about 39,1° above the imaged Local Mercurian Horizon)
Emission Angle (at center frame): 1,4° (meaning that the Spacecraft was almost perpendicular to the imaged Surface at the time when the picture was taken)
Sun-Mercury-Messenger (or "Phase") Angle (at center frame): 52,3°

This picture (which is a crop taken out from an Original NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft's false colors and Map-Projected image-mosaic published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 18730) 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.

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