Astronomy Picture of the Day
October 23, 2014

Still on the Limb!
Still on the Limb!

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.

Another beautiful day on Mercury and - therefore - here is another beautiful picture of the Limb of the Innermost Planet of the Solar System; to be more specific, at the bottom right (Dx) of the frame, there is Alver Crater (about 152 Km - such as approx. 94,39 miles - in dimater), while the approx. 760-Km (such as about 471,96-miles) long Belgica Rupes can be clearly seen at the top.

Date acquired: July, 22nd, 2014
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 48360630
Image ID: 6731314
InstrumentWide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 59,37° South
Center Longitude: 58,76° East
Solar Incidence Angle (at center frame): 77,1° (meaning that the Sun, at the time that the pictures were taken, was about 12,9° above the imaged Local Mercurian Horizon)

This picture (which is an Original NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft's b/w and NON Map-Projected image published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 18758) 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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