PostHeaderIcon Worlds of Stone: 10/25/2011

As part of the current show (Worlds of Stone) at Pacific Science Center we’re updating the images we show from NASA’s MESSENGER and Dawn missions on a weekly basis. I’ll try to show them to you the week after we use the in the planetarium.

Dawn

Vesta in enhanced color

NASA Caption

Released October 25, 2011

Date acquired: August 11th 2011
Instrument: Dawn FC (framing camera)

PASADENA, Calif. — This Dawn FC (framing camera) composite images show the spectacular spectral diversity of Vesta’s surface. This image shows a Red-Green-Blue color composite image of Vesta. The images from these 3 filters were combined into this one RGB composite image, which enhances Vesta’s coloration..

Image Credit: NASA/ JPL-Caltech/ UCLA/ MPS/ DLR/ IDA

Alice Says:

In short, this is a false-color image. I’ve chosen one of the two that was originally part of this release. I chose this one because it is what I would call “less false” color. Instead of an image with crazy colors depicting specific minerals, I thought it would be interesting to look at a picture that gives us a bit of a sense of what color Vesta might be rather that the greyscale images we’ve been seeing so far.

MESSENGER

What made that funny crater shape on Mercury?

NASA Caption

Released October 23, 2011

 

Date acquired: October 10, 2011
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)

Of Interest: The large crater here was formed by a very low angle, or oblique, impact. Although impacts at most angles produce circular craters, impacts with incidence angles <15º (from the horizontal) will create elliptical craters. This crater is superposed on an older, circular crater.

Alice Says:

NASA’s explanation is good. I picked this image because it’s a great way to engage with the geology of Mercury.

Here’s a teachable moment: ask guests why the crater might have such a strange shape.

And what about that ridge in the middle? Often when you have a peak in the middle of a crater it’s a “splashback” – like those in slow-motion images of milkdrops.

Want More?

Worlds of Stone at Pacific Science Center

MESSENGER

Dawn

~ A l i c e !

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