Astronomy Picture of the Day
January 31, 2015

Features of Daedalia Planum
Features of Daedalia Planum

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

In this truly beautiful VIS image, taken by the NASA - Mars Odyssey Orbiter on December, 6th, 2002, and during its 4.337th orbit around the Red Planet, we can see, a small portion of the Martian Region known as Daedalia Planum.


All over the pictured Area there is a number of interesting Surface Features. To be more specific, we can see, in the central and lower portion of the frame, the remnants of ancient Lava Flows and, at the very bottom, a couple of "twin-like" (---> meaning that they formed approximately at the same time) Unnamed Impact Craters; in the upper/central portion of the picture, slightly to the West (Sx), we can see an Unnamed Impact Crater of modest size (but quite bigger than the Others) and, right on top of it, but towards the East (Dx), a couple of oblong-shaped Collapse Features (Pits). Notice, if you wish, the almost total lack of Rim of these Features: a circumstance which makes them deeply different (and therefore easy to recognize) from a common Impact Crater.


On top of these Collapse Pits, as well as on the lower Eastern Margin of the frame, there are other two (relatively small, but very well defined - and therefore recent, always Geologically speaking) Impact Craters.


Last, but cetainly not least, all these Surface Features (in addition to other very small Impact Craters which cover almost the entire visible Area) are characterized by the presence of Dark Windstreaks (the most common Aeolian - Wind-caused/related - Feature of Mars), which indicate, among other things, the direction of the Dominant Winds blowing over this portion of Daedalia Planum (---> such as from the North/East to the South/West).


Latitude (centered): 14,8355° South
Longitude (centered): 226,9370° East
Instrument: VIS


This image (which is an Original Mars Odyssey Orbiter false colors and Map-Projected frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 19186) has been additionally processed, magnified to aid the visibility of the details, contrast enhanced and sharpened, Gamma corrected and then re-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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