Astronomy Picture of the Day
February 26, 2013

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

Credits: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) - Credits for the research, the additional process. and color.: Drr Gianluigi Barca and Paolo C. Fienga/Lunar Explorer Italia/IPF

In today's APOD, both in order to complete (at least for the time being) this very complicated - and yet fascinating - subject, as well as also to remind ourselves where everything we said and speculated about the possible South Polar Paleo-Lake (or "Smooth South Polar Surface" that we have summarily examined together in the past three days) started from, we decided to publish the Original NASA - Mars Global Surveyor's Context Image (MOC Narrow Angle Image n. M09-01354, dated November, 5, of the AD 1999) where this extremely interesting Surface Feature was seen for the first time.

As you know, we do not have - actually, we cannot have, nor reach - definitive answers about a topic like this one, and (unfortunately) like many others (considering the data we possess); however, and as a matter of fact, what we are really trying to do, here, is just to show you, on a daily base, interesting (and often beautiful and suggestive) images of many Celestial Bodies of our Solar System and, at the same time, to supply you with (always, of course, duly informed and substantiated) facts, ideas and opinions about what we are actually looking at. Facts, ideas and opinions that we have learned and formed - and keep forming -, respectively, after many years of studies and image-analysis; facts, ideas and opinions which, as you can see, we like to share with our Colleagues and Readers. 

We do hope that you may appreciate our efforts in this ambitious enterprise and, whenever you feel like doing it, we also - kindly - would like to ask you to give us your feedback about this small "Daily Glance" at our Solar System, with all its boundless beauties and, of course, its VERY many still unsolved misteries...

Mars Local Time: 15:32 (Decimal Hours - Middle Afternoon)
Coord. (centered): 78,75° South Lat. and 292,28° West Long.
Spacecraft altitude: 370,7 Km (such as about 230,2047 miles)
Emission Angle: 0,23°
Sun-Martian Surface-MGS Spacecraft (or Phase) Angle: 61,77°
Solar Incidence Angle: 61,76° (meaning that the Sun was about 28,24° above the Local Horizon at the time the picture was taken)
Solar Longitude: 238,52° (Northern Fall - Southern Spring)

This picture (which is a Map Projected NASA - Original Mars Global Surveyor Orbiter CTX b/w frame, identified by the serial n. M09-01354) 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.

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