Astronomy Picture of the Day
January 4, 2015

Unnamed and relatively 'Fresh' Impact Crater in Tharsis (EDM)
Unnamed and relatively 'Fresh' Impact Crater in Tharsis (EDM)

Credits: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona - Credits for the additional process. and color.: Dr Paolo C. Fienga/LXTT/IPF

This image, which an Extra Detail Magnification (or "EDM" for short) of a frame taken by the NASA - Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on November, 7, 2010, shows us, as we wrote in yesterday's APOD, an approximately 5 Km (such as about 3,105 miles) diameter Unnamed Impact Crater that is one of the rare examples of a (relatively speaking) fresh "lunar-like" Impact Crater on Mars. This Unnamed Impact Crater formed in the Tharsis Region, which is the largest Volcanic District of Mars that harbors, among others, the Great Olympus Mons - as a matter of fact, this Unnamed Impact Crater lies just about 150 Km (such as approx. 93,15 miles) from the Flanks of the tallest Mountain of the entire Solar System. Now, and we'd say most often, Fresh Impact Craters on Mars typically have Floors with a frothy (---> full of or covered with a mass of small bubbles), pitted Deposit in them: a circumstance, this one, that - possibly - suggests that Water/Ice was present in the Sub-Surface at the time of the Impact.


In the case in point, this Unnamed Impact Crater completely lacks such Materials. Instead, the Crater possesses a Deposit that is generally smooth, with some Rocks peppered throughout it and this is more similar to observations relevant to Fresh Lunar Craters. This distinction from the more (relatively) typical pitted Crater Floor Deposits may support that the Lavas sampled by this specific Crater were VERY low in Water/Ice or even DRY at the time when the Impact occurred. If you pay attention to the EDM, you will be able to notice that there are some smaller Impact Craters superimposed on the Floor, which is a sign that this Crater is reasonably Fresh, but not as recent as other Martian Impact Craters.


Last, but certainly not least observation, the whole circumference of the Inner Rim of this Crater is litterally covered by Gully-like Formations: and this fact - in our humble opinion, as IPF - should make us think a little more about the true nature and past of this however extremely interesting Impact Structure...


Mars Local Time: 15:35 (Middle Afternoon)
Coord. (centered): 11,391° North Lat. and 226,379° East Long.
Spacecraft altitude: 276,0 Km (such as about 171,396 miles)
Original image scale range: 27,6 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binningso objects ~ 83 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale: 25 cm/pixel
Map projection: EQUIRECTANGULAR
Emission Angle: 6,1°
Phase Angle: 60,5°
Solar Incidence Angle: 54° (meaning that the Sun was about 36° above the Local Horizon at the time the picture was taken)
Solar Longitude: 177,3° (Northern Summer - Southern Winter)
Credits: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Additional process. and coloring: Lunar Explorer Italia


This picture (which is a crop taken from an NASA - Original Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter b/w and NON Map-Projected frame identified by the serial n. ESP_020077_2540) has been additionally processed, magnified, so help the visibility of the details, contrast enhanced, Gamma corrected, and then colorized in Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that a human eye would actually perceive if someone were onboard the NASA - Mars Reconnaissance 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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