Astronomy Picture of the Day
August 27, 2013

On the Edge of Arsia Mons
On the Edge of Arsia Mons

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 June, 29, 2013, and during its 51.200th orbit around the Red Planet, we can see a very small section of the Southern Rim of one of the Giant Martian Volcanoes known as Arsia Mons (whose name comes from a corresponding Classical Albedo Feature found on a map made by the Italian Astronomer Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli, which so named it after the legendary Roman Forest known as Arsia Silva, and which is the Southernmost of three Giant Volcanoes collectively known as Tharsis Montes). Arsia Mons is located on the so-called Tharsis Bulge, near the Equator of Mars. To its North, there is Pavonis Mons, and then, farther North of Pavonis, there is Ascraeus Mons. On the other hand, the tallest Volcano in the Solar System, such as Olympus Mons, is found the North/West of Arsia.

Arsia Mons is a so-called "Shield Volcano", it possesses relatively low Slopes and a massive Caldera, located at its Summit. From a Geographic point of view, we can say that Arsia Mons, of the three Tharsis Montes, is the only major Tharsis Volcano that can be found South of the Martian Equator. Arsia Mons is approx. 435 Km (such as a little more than 270 miles) in diameter, almost 20 Km (such as about 12,4 miles) tall and more than 9 Km (such as 5,58 miles) higher than the Surrounding Plains. Last, but not least, its Summit Caldera is roughly 72 miles (approximately 115,87 Km) wide.

Latitude (centered): 10,169° South
Longitude (centered): 239,951° 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 17348) 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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