Astronomy Picture of the Day
August 23, 2013

Rabe's Dunefield (InfraRed Light View)
Rabe's Dunefield (InfraRed Light View)

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

In this VIS image, taken by the NASA - Mars Odyssey Orbiter on June, 26, 2013, and during its 51.157th orbit around the Red Planet, we can see a small portion of the large Dunefield that lies on the Floor of Rabe Crater (an ancient Impact Crater located in the Noachis Quadrangle at 43,9° South Latitude and 325,1° West Longitude).

Rabe Crater is about 108 Km - such as about 67,068 miles - in diameter and it was so named after the German Astronomer Wilhelm F. Rabe (1893 – 1958). As far as this specific picture is concerned, you may want to notice that the Dunes visible here appear quite brighter than the Terrain located next to and around them, and this fact is due to several reasons, including - but not limited to - the circumstance that the Dunes possess a different Texture, Mineral Composition and, last but not least (having this last circumstance been positively proven through the analysis of this one as well as other pictures of the very same area that were all taken by the NASA - Mars Odyssey Orbiter and by the NASA - Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter throughout the use of some appropriate InfraRed Filters), because they are actually warmer than their surroundings.

Latitude (centered): 43,6589° South
Longitude (centered): 34,4001° East
Instrument: VIS

This frame (which is an Original Mars Odyssey Orbiter b/w frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 17344) has been additionally processed, magnified, contrast enhanced, Gamma corrected 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, using an InfraRed Visual Device, 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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