Astronomy Picture of the Day
September 7, 2012

Features of the Kasei Valles Channel System
Features of the Kasei Valles Channel System

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

Kasei Valles is is one of the largest Martian Outflow Channel Systems, and it is located in the Mare Acidalium and Lunae Palus Quadrangles at about 24,6° North Latitude and 65,0° West Longitude (remember that the so-called Outflow Channels are the extremely long, wide swathes of Scoured Martian Ground, commonly containing the Streamlined Remnants of Pre-existing Topography - i.e.: Islands - and other Linear Erosive Features indicating the verification of phenomena of "sculpting" by fluids moving downslope).

This Channel System is approx. 1780 Km long and it was named after the word "Mars", as pronounced in Japanese Language. This Kasei Valles Channel System can reach a width of even about 300 miles in some places (consider, in contrast and just to get an idea of these dimensions, that the Kasei Valles Channel System is much wider than the Earth's Grand Canyon, getting to be in some places approx. 500 Km - such as about 300 miles - wide, while the Grand Canyon's maximum width is only approx. 30 Km - or about 18 miles). As a matter of fact, Kasei is one of the longest continuous Outflow Channels of Mars; the System begins in the Region of Echus Chasma, then it runs Northward, and, in the end, it appears to empty into the Basin of Chryse Planitia. At about 20° North Latitude, the System splits into two Channels, called Kasei Vallis Canyon and North Kasei Channel, but these two branches recombine around 63° West Longitude. In addition to the above, it has to be said that, in some parts, the Kasei Valles Channel System can reach a depth of even 2 or 3 Km.

Today's APOD is s VIS image, taken by the NASA - Mars Odyssey Orbiter, that shows us some small Sub-Channels, at many different elevations, which are all part of the Complex Region between the Northern and Southern Main Channels of the Kasei Valles Outflow System. This frame was taken on June, 3rd, 2012, during the 46440th orbit of the Spacecraft and it is centered at 25,7111° North Latitude and 299,859° East Longitude. North is on the upper part of the frame.

This frame has been colorized in Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that a 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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