Astronomy Picture of the Day
October 6, 2012

Approaching Sunset - Sol 101
Approaching Sunset - Sol 101

Credits: NASA/JPL- MER Opportunity - Credits for the additional process. and color.: Dr Gianluigi Barca/Lunar Explorer Italia/IPF

Today's APOD is our (as the Italian Planetary Foundation) personal gift to the inborn Beauty and Mistery of Nature and, if you are good enough to look through and beyond the "naked science data", it is also a gift to the beauty of the Space Exploration: a beauty that makes possible to us to observe and, at the same time, to contemplate the vision of a Late Sun, as it appears from a Planet other than Earth. We believe that this aspect of Science (which is, as we like to define it, the mere and quiet contemplation of something that is both fascinating and, let us say "thank God!", very distant from the way too many miseries of our World and daily life), in our humble opinion, could be the deepest and most important one (even though, in these tough days, it seems to us that, unfortunately, it has been almost completely buried and forgotten...).


This is a Left Navigation Camera (NavCam) Non-linearized Full Frame EDR acquired on Sol 101 by the NASA - Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity - at approximately 17:46:06 Mars Local Solar Time, in the Martian Region of Meridiani Planum.


(Note: the small "Green Light Streak" visible at about 10 'o clock of the frame, is, in our opinion, the evidence of the passage of a Cosmic Ray in front of the Camera of the Rover)


This frame (which is an Original NASA - Mars Exploration Opportunity Original b/w Frame identified by the ID n. 1N137171207EFF2019P2680L0M1) has been additionally processed and then colorized in Natural Colors (such as the colors that a perfect human eye - or an Electronic Eye - would actually perceive if someone were on the Surface of Mars, near the NASA - Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, and then looked towards the Horizon and Sky of Meridiani Planum), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team.



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