Astronomy Picture of the Day
July 24, 2015


Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute and Dr Paolo C. Fienga/LXTT/IPF for the additional process. and color.

Pluto's small, and highly irregularly shaped moon Hydra, is, finally (but just partly), revealed in this Absolute Natural Colors image taken from the NASA - New Horizons' Spacecraft LORRI instrument on July 14, 2015, from a distance of about 143.000 miles (such as approx. 230.135,62 Km). Surface Features as small as approx. 0,7 miles (such as about 1,26 Km) are visible on Hydra, which measures, roughly, 34 miles (approx. 54,71756 Km) in length.

The dark and elongated Surface Feature visible towards the South Pole of the moon could be - but we, as IPF, have no way to be sure) a huge Impact Crater, somohow conceptually similar, if you think about it, to the gigantic Stickney Crater which is located on the Martian moon Phobos.

The image (which is an Original NASA - New Horizons Spacecraft's b/w and NON Map-Projected frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. 19847) has been additionally processed, magnified to aid the visibility of the details, contrast enhanced and sharpened, Gamma corrected and then colorized (according to an educated guess carried out by Dr Paolo C. Fienga-LXTT-IPF) in Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that a normal human eye would actually perceive if someone were onboard the NASA - New Horizons Spacecraft and then looked ahead, towards the Plutonian moon Hydra), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team.

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