Astronomy Picture of the Day
January 12, 2015

Volcanic Activity inside Navoi Crater (CTX Frame)
Volcanic Activity inside Navoi Crater (CTX Frame)

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.

Navoi Crater, which is located to the North of the large (as a matter of fact, we'd say "gigantic") Caloris Impact Basin, shows CLEAR signs of the occurrence -according to NASA - of (relatively) ancient (but we, as IPF, would humbly say "relatively RECENT") Volcanic Activity. The orangish tint that is easily perceivable in this image-mosaic, obtained by putting together three frames taken by the NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft on October, 12, 2014, is - in a certain way - similar to those frames associated with Surface Features that were formed (even just partially) by the so-called "Explosive Volcanic Events".

Many of the highly irregularly shaped Depressions visible (existing) on Navoi's Crater Floor, if you pay a very careful attention to the picture, (could) resemble to those associated with Volcanic Explosions, like the ones that can be seen within quite a few other famous Mercurian Impact Craters, like Lermontov, Scarlatti, and Praxiteles.

Just out of curiosity: one - and very well defined in shape - Secondary Volcanic Fissure (in fact, really similar to another one that we, as IPF, discovered on Mars - Arsia Mons' Flank - by carefully analyzing a NASA - Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter picture) can be seen here, inside Navoi Crater. Can you point it out?

However, if you can't, do not worry: in tomorrow's EDM, we shall show it to you!

Date acquired: October, 12th, 2014
Images Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 55468134, 55468126, 55468130
Images ID: 7233114, 7233112, 7233113
InstrumentWide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 59,24° North
Center Longitude: 159,40° East
Solar Incidence Angle (at center frame): 62,5° (meaning that the Sun, at the time that the pictures were taken, was about 27,5° above the imaged Local Mercurian Horizon)
Emission Angle (at center frame): 0,1° (meaning that the Spacecraft was actually perpendicular as to the imaged Surface at the time when the picture was taken)
Sun-Mercury-Messenger (or "Phase") Angle (at center frame): 62,5°

This picture (which is an Original NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft's false colors and Map-Projected image-mosaic published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 19012) 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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