Astronomy Picture of the Day
October 6, 2014

The Southern Flank of Apollinaris Mons
The Southern Flank of Apollinaris Mons

Credits: NASA/JPL/Arizona State University (ASU) - Credits for the additional process. and color.: Dr Paolo C. Fienga/Lunar Explorer Italia/IPF

In this VIS image, taken by the NASA - Mars Odyssey Orbiter on September, 8th, 2014, and during its 56.490th orbit around the Red Planet, we can see a small portion of the Southern Flank of the Volcano known as Apollinaris Mons. This Flank, as you can easily see, shows a strong erosion of the Materials that formed (and covered) it. Just as usual, only a few and medium-seized Impact Craters can be seen in the area.


Apollinaris Mons is an ancient Shield Volcano located in the Southern Hemisphere of Mars and it is situated near the Equator, toi the South of Elysium Planitia and North of Gusev Crater. Elysium Planitia separates it from the volcanic province of Elysium to its northwest. The volcano's caldera is named Apollinaris Patera and this name was formerly applied to the whole Edifice. Apollinaris Mons is about 5 Km (such as approx. 3,105 miles) high, with a base that is about 296 Km (such as approx. 183,816 miles) in diameter; On the top of this Shield Volcano there is a huge Caldera that is about 80 Km (such as approx. 49,68 miles) in diameter.


Apollinaris Mons is approximately 3 to 3,5 Billion Years old and it was so named in the AD 1973 after a Mountain Spring found near Rome, in Italy. Just out of curiosity, a study made using a Global Climate Model suggested that the Medusae Fossae Formation could have been created by an bundant and long fall of Ashes which came from Apollinaris, Arsia and, possibly, Pavonis Montes.


Latitude (centered): 9,93411° South
Longitude (centered): 174,88900° East
Instrument: VIS


This image (which is an Original Mars Odyssey Orbiter b/w and Map-Projected frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 18732) has been additionally processed, magnified to aid the visibility of the details, contrast enhanced and sharpened, Gamma corrected and then colorized in Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that a normal human eye would actually perceive if someone were onboard the NASA - Mars Odyssey Orbiter and then looked down, towards the Surface of Mars), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team.



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