Astronomy Picture of the Day
April 20, 2013

On the Floor of Gale... - Sol 27
On the Floor of Gale... - Sol 27

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS and Dr Paolo C. Fienga/LXTT/IPF for the additional process and color.

This frame, taken by the Mast Camera (MastCam) onboard the NASA - Mars Exploration Rover (MER) - Mars Laboratory "Curiosity", shows to Planetary Researchers some very interesting colors, patterns and textures in this Unnamed Rock imaged during the 27th Martian Day, or Sol, of the Rover's work at Gale CraterMars (such as September, 2, 2012 on Earth). The Unnamed Rock is about 2,4" (such as approx. 6,096 centimeters) across and it shows a relatively dark gray-blue color overall, with lighter, whitish tones which are organized in patterns that may indicate/suggest the presence of distinct Crystals made of different Materials (---> Minerals) inside it.

Several Patches of very thin Dust, showing the usual (and let's say "dominant", on the Floor of Gale Crater) light brown-orange color, can also be seen all over the Rock and, in particular, on its very top as well as on to its, relatively, flat right side. Last, but not least, after a very careful observation of the lower Features of the Rock, we believe, as IPF, that the possibility where the Rock itself might be (even partially) empty (thus making it look like an irregular "bowl" or an "helmet", once it is turned upside-down) should also be considered.

This picture (which is an Original NASA - Mars Exploration Rover - Mars Laboratory "Curiosity" natural color frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 16803) has been additionally processed and then re-colorized in Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that a human eye would actually perceive if someone were near the NASA - Mars Exploration Rover (MER) - Mars Laboratory "Curiosity" and then looked ahead, towards the Rock dubbed "Sutton Inlier", which is located in front of 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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