Astronomy Picture of the Day
August 24, 2013

Rabe's Dunefield (Visible Light View)
Rabe's Dunefield (Visible 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 another 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, in the Wavelengths of the Visible Light, appear much darker than their surroundings. On the other hand, if you compare this view to yesterday's APOD's IR image of Rabe's Dunefield, you will be able to notice that the Dunes, when observed through the InfraRed Wavelenghts, looked extremely bright (as to the Terrain surrounding them) and that fact was due, among other things, to  their warmer temperature, as compared to the temperature of the aforementioned Terrain (such as that portion of the Surface located next to, and around them).


Latitude (centered): 43,6777° South
Longitude (centered): 34,3986° 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 17345) 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, 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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