Astronomy Picture of the Day
March 9, 2016

Degraded and Unnamed Impact Crater on 1-Ceres (EDM n. 2)
Degraded and Unnamed Impact Crater on 1-Ceres (EDM n. 2)

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

This is the second Extra Detail Magnification (or "EDM", for short), of the lower portion of the two days ago 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, that showed us the highly degraded and unusually-looking Inner and Outer Rim of a (probably - actually, most likely - extremely old) Unnamed Impact Crater (not visible here). 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 clearly seen here. The reason of all this? Unknown. So far...

One possible explanation? We are - maybe - looking at large amounts of Impact Melt which overflooded the Original Outer Rim of this Unnamed Impact Crater.

The NASA - Dawn Spacecraft captured the Original 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 Original Image Resolution was roughly 120 feet (i.e. about 36,576 meters) per pixel (---> Picture Element).

This image (which is a crop obtained from 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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