Astronomy Picture of the Day
January 25, 2013

Features of Claritas Fossae
Features of Claritas Fossae

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

This VIS image of the Claritas Fossae Region (taken by the NASA - Mars Odyssey Orbiter during its 48.552nd orbit around the Red Planet) illustrates how Fractures and Impact Craters can affect (and interact with) other Surface Features. In this case, the Fractures - in a way - seem to have influenced the path of several Channels (running from the upper right - North - towards the lower left - South - of the picture). The Channels "follow" the Fractures and then follow the Slope, located towards the bottom of the image. Another interesting (and, at least in our opinion, as IPF, pretty hard to explain) interaction between Surface Features, can be found in the sinuous and relatively short Channel which starts from the Edge (---> Rim) of a medium-sized Impact Crater, visible on the lower right portion of the frame. Furthermore, another intriguing Surface Feature (which is consistent with the other Features - the Channels in particular - present in the area and that sems to be the remnant of an ancient - and quite shallow - Lake), can be seen on the upper right side of the image. Finally, at least 2 (two) Impact Crater cut the lower portion of the larger and deeper Channel that dominates the center of the scene.

Latitude: 41,4612° South
Longitude: 258,678° East
Instrument: VIS
Captured: November, 23rd, 2012

This frame (which is an Original Mars Odyssey Orbiter b/w frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 16747) 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 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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