Astronomy Picture of the Day
August 14, 2015

Features of Aureum Chaos
Features of Aureum Chaos

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

In this, once again, absolutely beautiful VIS image, taken by the NASA - Mars Odyssey Orbiter on March, 9th, 2004, and during its 9.913th orbit around the Red Planet, we can see a small portion of the Chaotic Martian Region known as Aureum Chaos.

Aureum Chaos (which is a rough, full of Clusters of small Buttes, huge Mesas, Rocky Blocks and several collapsed areas - just look at the picture to better understand) is a Region located in the Margaritifer Sinus Quadrangle portion of the Planet Mars, and centered at approximately 4,4° South Latitude and 27° West Longitude. It is approx. 368 Km (such as about 228,528 miles) across and it was so named after a so-called "Classical Albedo Feature".

The Classic Name came from one of the first maps of Mars drawn by the Italian Astronomer, Giovanni Virgilio Schiaparelli (1835 - 1910), who has often been called the "Father of Mars". He originally called this Feature "Aurea Cherso", which can be translated as "The Golden Peninsula" (an ancient name for Malaya, and Aureum - that is the Latin word for golden). As a matter of fact, in Chemistry, the symbol for gold is Au, from gold's Latin name, "Aurum"). In many places, the Canyons of Aureum Chaos are about 1 km deep (roughly 0,621 miles, which is a little more than half the depth of the Grand Canyon). But, Aureum Chaos covers an area that is about the size of the American State state of Alabama (and therefore almost 20 times larger than the Grand Canyon National Park).

Latitude (centered): 4,41938° South
Longitude (centered): 333,03100° East
Instrument: VIS

This image (which is an Original Mars Odyssey Orbiter falsely colored and Map-Projected frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 19750) 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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