Astronomy Picture of the Day
February 25, 2013

Possible Frozen Paleo-Lake in the South Polar Regions of Mars (Part III)
Possible Frozen Paleo-Lake in the South Polar Regions of Mars (Part III)

Credits: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona - Credits for the additional process. and color.: Drr Gianluigi Barca and Paolo C. Fienga/Lunar Explorer Italia/IPF

Today's APOD is an EDM (Extra Detail Magnification) showing us the Northernmost portion of the possible South Polar Paleo-Lake that we have identified. Only one (and really small) Impact Crater can be seen near the lower left (Sx) Margin of the Feature; furthermore, the total absence of Craters on the "Smooth Surface" itself, can be cosidered as a clear indication that the Material (which we believe, as IPF, is, most likely, Dust-covered Water Ice) forming it, is - relatively - fresh (exactly like most of the Terrain that lies all around the Feature).

Mars Local Time: 14:56 (Early Afternoon)
Coord. (centered): 78,638° South Lat. and 68,111° East Long.
Spacecraft altitude: 248,0 Km (such as about 154,008 miles)
Original image scale range: 49,6 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~ 1 mt and 49 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale: 50 cm/pixel
Emission Angle: 4,5°
Sun-Martian Surface-MRO Spacecraft (or Phase) Angle: 67,9°
Solar Incidence Angle: 65° (meaning that the Sun was about 25° above the Local Horizon at the time the picture was taken)
Solar Longitude: 317,2° (Northern Winter - Southern Summer)
Credits: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Additional process. and coloring: Lunar Explorer Italia

This picture (which is a cropped and NON-Map Projected NASA - Original Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter JP2-CTX b/w frame, identified by the serial n. ESP_023024_1010) 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 Reconnaissance 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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