Astronomy Picture of the Day
September 9, 2015

Iani Chaos, again
Iani Chaos, again

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


Once again, in this fascinating VIS image, taken by the NASA - Mars Odyssey Orbiter on April, 13th, 2004, and during its 10.336th orbit around the Red Planet, we can see (after the APODs of August 19 and 20, 2015) a little bit of the Chaotic Region known as Iani Chaos.


Iani Chaos is a Region - like its name clearly suggests - of Chaos Terrain (---> Hills, huge Rocky Blocks, Buttes, Mesas and so forth - and all of these Surface Features - the Rocky Blocks in particular, toward the South - can be seen, if you look carefully, at this picture) that is located at the South End of the famous Outflow Channel named Ares Vallis, in the Margaritifer Sinus Quadrangle (MC-19) of Mars,


Iani Chaos is centered at ~ (---> approximately) 342° East Longitude and South Latitude and, as we wrote hereabove, it is the Source Region of Ares Vallis. The Chaotic Terrain of Iani is widely believed to have formed through the removal (---> sudden rising) of extremely large quantities of Subsurface Water and/or even Ice; said removal, in a really short lap of time (probably only a few days), resulted in a huge flooding of the Surface, and the subsequent formation of the Ares Vallis Outflow Channel.


Within Iani Chaos, deposited stratigraphically above the Chaotic Terrain, there are smooth and low-Slopes, intermediate-to-light-toned Deposits that are rich in Hydrated Minerals, such as, inter alia (---> among other things) and most likely, Gypsum and Hematite.


Latitude (centered): 0,097308° South
Longitude (centered): 342,604000° 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 19768) 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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