Astronomy Picture of the Day
April 23, 2015

An oblique view of Abedin Crater
An oblique view of Abedin Crater

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.

This image-mosaic, made out of highly oblique images taken by the NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft, highlights the spectacular interior of the large Mercurian Abedin Crater (approx. 116 Km - such as about 72,036 miles - in diameter).

The Crater's Floor, as you can easily see here, is covered with once-molten Rocks generated by the Impact Event that formed Abedin. The cracks that formed as this Impact Melt cooled off are also well visible. Particularly intriguing is the shallow Surface Depression that lies amidst the Central Peaks of the Crater, and which could be Volcanic, in origin.

Center Latitude: 61,70° North
Center Longitude: 349,30° East

This picture (which is an Original NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft's b/w and NON Map-Projected image-mosaic published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 19423) has been additionally processed, contrast enhanced, Gamma corrected, reduced in size to fit the page 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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