Astronomy Picture of the Day
July 21, 2013

Features of Aram Chaos
Features of Aram Chaos

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 September, 9, 2012 and during its 47.637nd orbit around the Red Planet, we can see a small section of Aram Chaos: a Region centered at 2,6° North Latitude and 21,5° West Longitude. This interesting Martian Location (which comprises, among other things) a large and heavily eroded Impact Crater, lies at the Eastern End of the Valles Marineris Canyon System and close to another famous Martian Region known as Ares Vallis. Various and complex Geological Processes have reduced this location of the Red Planet to an almost circular area of Chaotic Terrain.


Aram Chaos took its name from Aram, such as one of the so-called "Classical Albedo Features" of Mars which were observed by the Italian Astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli, who named it after the Biblical land of Aram. Several Spectroscopic observation of Aram Chaos (all obtained from Spacecrafts orbiting Mars) indicate a large presence, all over the area, of the mineral Hematite, which is a sort of "signature" for an environment that, once, most likely eons and eons ago, was (better yet: could have been) an aqueous one.


Latitude (centered): 3,305° North
Longitude (centered): 388,529° East
Instrument: VIS


This frame (which is a crop obtained from an Original Mars Odyssey Orbiter b/w frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 17322) 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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