Astronomy Picture of the Day
February 4, 2013

Martian Oddity - Sol 173
Martian Oddity - Sol 173

Credits: NASA/JPL/MSSS - Mars Exploration Rover/Mars Laboratory Curiosity Mission - Credits for the additional process.: Dr Gianluigi Barca/Lunar Explorer Italia/IPF

Nobody knows for sure what this bright and metal-looking Feature that shines in the Sun right in front of the NASA - Mars Exploration Rover - Mars Laboratory "Curiosity" can be. The texture and color of the Feature are completely different from the ones of the Rocky Paving which characterizes the area currently explored by the Rover, and known as Yellowknife Bay. Maybe, if the NASA People will decide to get closer to this intriguing Feature and so take a better look, we may know more. But for now, we can only draw your attention on what it seems to be one of the greatest oddities ever discovered on the Red Planet...

This picture (which is a cropped EDM obtained from an Original NASA - Mars Exploration Rover - Mars Laboratory "Curiosity" b/w frame taken during the 173rd Sol of the Rover's exploration of Gale Crater and identified by the ID n. 0173MR0926020000E1_DXXX) has been additionally processed, calibrated and colorized in Natural Colors (such as the colors that a perfect human eye - or an Electronic Eye - would actually perceive if someone were near the NASA - Mars Exploration Rover (MER) - Mars Laboratory "Curiosity" and then looked ahead, towards the Rocky Paving located in front of and around the Rover), 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 Gale Crater, each having a different Albedo (---> Reflectivity) and Chemical Composition.

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