Astronomy Picture of the Day
October 20, 2012

Flow Features and Hills in Zephyria Planum
Flow Features and Hills in Zephyria Planum

Credits: NASA/JPL/MSSS - Mars Global Surveyor Mission - Credits for the additional process.: Dr Paolo C. Fienga/Lunar Explorer Italia/IPF

Today's APOD is a Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image that shows us a Plain covered by Flow Material which surrounded and banked against 3 (three) older, rounded Hills located in the Zephyria Region of Mars. Although some Researchers have proposed that these Flows which cover most of the Plains in this Region are (better yet: could be) the remains of an Ice-covered Lake, others have found considerable evidence, including the presence of a few small Volcanoes, clearly suggesting that the Flows should have a Volcanic origin. However - and that is a matter of fact - the textures of these Flows strongly resemble that one of some of the Lava Flows which are found in the Volcanic District of Tharsis.

Location near: 2,7° South Latitude and 195,7° West Longitude
Image width: ~ 3 Km (~ 1,9 miles)
Illumination from: lower left
Season: Southern Winter / Northern Summer


This picture (which is an Original NASA - Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) / Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) b/w frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 07859) has been additionally processed and then colorized in Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that a human eye would actually perceive if someone were onboard the NASA - Mars Global Surveyor 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. Different colors, as well as different shades of the same color, mean, among other things, the existence of different Elements (Minerals) present on the Surface of Mars, each having a different Albedo (---> Reflectivity) and Chemical Composition.



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