Astronomy Picture of the Day
July 28, 2014

The Central Peak of Egonu Crater
The Central Peak of Egonu 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, taken by the NASA - MESSENGER Spacecraft on July, 5, 2012, is a High-Resolution View of a relatively small portion of the inside of the Mercurian Impact Crater known as Egonu. The 'Flower-like Feature' visible inside (towards the upper right - Dx - of the frame) this Impact Crater is the - somehow - unusually-looking Egonu's Central Peak (as a matter of fact, it seems like an Impact Crater with very steep Walls that is located just inside another - and obviously bigger - Impact Crater).

Egonu Crater (approx. 25 Km - such as about 15,525 milies - in diameter) was so named after Uzo Egonu, a Nigerian artist (who was born on Christmas day, 1931, in the commercial city of Onitsha, on the bank of the Niger, and died in London on the 14th August 1996). He was known for crossing the boundary between Western and African painting, as he lived in England for most of his life.

This frame covers an area of approx. 14 Km - such as about 8,69 miles - across.

Date acquired: July, 5th, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 249988836
Image ID: 2143790
InstrumentNarrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 67,15° North
Center Longitude: 61,80° East
Solar Incidence Angle (at center frame): 75,6° (meaning that the Sun, at the time that the pictures were taken, was about 14,4° above the imaged Local Mercurian Horizon)
Emission Angle (at center frame): 1,3° (meaning that the Spacecraft was almost perpendicular as to the imaged Surface at the time when the picture was taken)
Sun-Mercury-Messenger (or "Phase") Angle (at center frame): 74,3°

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 18533) 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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