Astronomy Picture of the Day
April 26, 2013

The N/W Rim of Endeavour Crater
The N/W Rim of Endeavour Crater

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

This observation, made by the NASA - Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in the late March of the AD 2011 shows us a portion of the North/Western Rim of Endeavour Crater. The EDM, in particular, shows the light brown/whitish-colored Sulfate Sedimentary Rocks peeking beneath the Dark Sand that the NASA - Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity has been driving on, some Layered Material deposited around the Crater Rim, and the reddish Material which makes (and covers) most of the Rim itself.
CRISM Spectral Information indicate the presence of a number of different Hydrated Sulfates in the Material existing beneath the Sand and Phyllosilicates (or Water-bearing Clay Minerals) found in the reddish Rim. According to the opinion of many Planetary Scientists, the Phyllosilicates should have formed prior to the Sulfates, during a "Wet Period" of Mars - or, at least, of this portion of Meridiani Planum - where the Water present in this area (and, perhaps, in the whole Region) was near the point of Neutral Acidity (meaning a point that was very far away from the extremely acid conditions under which the Sulfates were formed).

Mars Local Time: 14:49 (Early Afternoon)
Coord. (centered): 2,240° South Lat. and 354,649° East Long.
Spacecraft altitude: 275,4 Km (such as about 171,023 miles)
Original image scale range: 27,6 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~ 83 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale: 25 cm/pixel
Emission Angle: 13,0°
Phase Angle: 58,6°
Solar Incidence Angle: 47° (meaning that the Sun was about 43° above the Local Horizon at the time the picture was taken)
Solar Longitude: 263,7° (Northern Fall - Southern Spring)
Credits: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Additional process. and coloring: Lunar Explorer Italia

These pictures (which are a NASA - Original Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Map Projected CTX b/w frame identified by the serial n. ESP_021892_1775 and a NASA - Original Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter EDM false-color frame identified by the serial n. ESP_021892_1775-1) have been additionally processed and then colorized (and re-colorized, respectively) 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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