Astronomy Picture of the Day
March 31, 2015

On the Wall and downhill... (Part II)
On the Wall and downhill... (Part II)

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.

After having seen the South/Eastern portion of the Inner Rim and Floor of this (as usual, always Geologically speaking) "young", Unnamed Mercurian Rayed (of course, the Rays are not visible in the frame) Impact Crater in yesterday's APOD, we can now take a look at its North/Eastern side, once again at a resolution of just over 5 (five) meters per pixel.

Also here, in this picture, the Walls of the Crater appear extremely bright and - relatively - smooth, but this time (with the Crater's Floor already lost in the darkness) the image is showing us (with incredible detail) a bunch of Erosional Patterns (---> Gully-like Formations) located on its Inner Wall and a glimpse of small-sized Boulders (---> Rocky Blocks) that rest just outside its Outer North/Eastern Rim. The whole scene is about 2,7 Km - such as approx. 1,6767 miles - across.

Date acquired: March, 2nd, 2015
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 67659563
Image ID: 8076855
InstrumentNarrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 35,44° North
Center Longitude: 207,64° East
Solar Incidence Angle (at center frame): 78,43° (meaning that the Sun, at the time that the pictures were taken, was about 11,57° above the imaged Local Mercurian Horizon)
Emission Angle (at center frame): 7,17° (meaning that the Spacecraft was not perpendicular as to the imaged Surface at the time when the picture was taken)
Sun-Mercury-Messenger (or "Phase") Angle (at center frame): 85,60°

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 19261) 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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