Astronomy Picture of the Day
February 7, 2015

Incoming Night on Mercury
Incoming Night on Mercury

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 today's APOD, Mercury's highly uneven Horizon cuts a striking edge against the stark blackness of the Space. On the upper side of the frame, the late Sunlight harshly brings the visible Landscape into relief, while in the lower portion of the picture, the Mercurian Surface is already shrouded in the darkness of night.

Date acquired: January, 20th, 2015
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 64084239
Image ID: 7831084
InstrumentWide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 54,45° South
Center Longitude: 90,52° East

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 19192) 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 Limb 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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