Astronomy Picture of the Day
March 7, 2016

Degraded and Unnamed Impact Crater on 1-Ceres (CTX Frame)
Degraded and Unnamed Impact Crater on 1-Ceres (CTX Frame)

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA and Dr Paolo C. Fienga for the additional process. and color.

This simply fascinating Contextual Image (or "CTX Frame", for short) of the Dwarf Planet 1-Ceres, taken by the NASA - Dawn Spacecraft on January, 24th, 2016, shows us the highly degraded and unusually-looking Inner and Outer Rim of a (probably - actually, most likely - extremely old) Unnamed Impact Crater. The rough Surface Features visible all around the Outer Rim of this Impact Scar (---> Feature) give way to smoother, and really lightly Cratered Terrain -which can be seen in the lower half of the frame. The reason of all this? Unknown. So far...

The NASA - Dawn Spacecraft captured the scene during its Low-Altitude Mapping Orbit (or "LAMO", for short), from an approx. altitude of 240 miles (such as about 386,2416 Km) above the Surface of 1-Ceres. The Image Resolution is roughly 120 feet (i.e. about 36,576 meters) per pixel (---> Picture Element).

This image (which is an Original NASA - Dawn Spacecraft's b/w and NON Map-Projected frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 20394 - DAWN LAMO Image n. 40) has been additionally processed, extra-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 - Dawn Spacecraft and then looked ahead, towards the Surface of 1-Ceres), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team.

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