Astronomy Picture of the Day
June 18, 2013

On the Edge of Aurorae (Part I)
On the Edge of Aurorae (Part I)

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

In this VIS image, taken by the NASA - Mars Odyssey Orbiter on April, 6, 2013, during its 50.173rd orbit around the Red Planet, we can see a large Channel (or, perhaps, a Surface Fracture, like NASA Scientists say), characterized by the presence, on both of its Edges, of Gullies and, near the Edges themselves as well as on its Floor, by the ummistakeable mark of a few - but really small - Impact Craters.

Furthermore, it is interesting to notice how the slow, but almost constant accumulation (which occurs, as you know, almost all over the Planet Mars) of - most likely - Volcanic Ashes mixed with Dust and Sand Particles that keeps precipitating from the lower Atmosphere of the Red Planet, have formed some sort of a "Dusty River" which seems to flow on the bottom of the Channel itself (a phenomenon, this very last one however, that we have also recognized as occurring on the bottom of the many and deep Fissures located in the Martian Region of Cerberus Fossae). Finally, on the top portion of the frame, we can see some of the Rocky Blocks that belong to the Southern Margin of the neighboring Martian Region known as Aurorae Chaos.

Latitude (centered): 11,8697° South
Longitude (centered): 327,0070° East
Instrument: VIS

This frame (which is a crop from an Original Mars Odyssey Orbiter b/w frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 17105) has been additionally processed, magnified, contrast enhanced 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 Odyssey 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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