Astronomy Picture of the Day
October 10, 2013

Sachs Patera and Surroundings
Sachs Patera and Surroundings

Credits: NASA/JPL - Magellan Project - Credits for the additional process. and color.: Dr Paolo C. Fienga/LXTT/IPF

This image of Sachs Patera on Venus is centered at approx. 49° North Latitude and 334° East Longitude. Defined as a so-called "Sag-Caldera", Sachs is an Elliptical Surface Depression approx. 130 meters (such as approx. 426 feet) in depth, spanning about 40 Km (such as approx. 24,84 miles) in width, along its Longest Axis. This specific Surface Morphology implies that a Chamber of Molten Material drained and collapsed on itself, forming a Depression surrounded by Concentric Scarps spaced approx. 2 to 5 Km (such as about 1,24 to 3,1 miles) apart.

The Arc-shaped set of Scarps, extending out towards the North from the prominent ellipse, is a possible (---> better yet, plausible) evidence for a separate episode of withdrawal; the small Lobe-shaped Extension to the South/West may represent an additional event. Solidified Lava Flows about 10 to 25 Km (such as approx. 6,21 to 15,525 miles) long, gave to the Caldera its "flower-like" appearance. The Flows show a lighter tone of gray in the Radar Data because the Lava is blockier in texture and consequently returns more Radar Waves (---> Signal). Much of the Lava, which was evacuated from the Chamber, probably traveled to other locations by moving in the underground, while some of it might (just might!) have surfaced further South. This kind of configuration, however, is extremely different when compared to the one of the Calderas located on Earth, where a Rim of Lava - usually - builds up in the immediate vicinities of the Caldera.

This frame (which is an Original NASA - Magellan Spacecraft Radio-Image published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the n. PIA 00473), since it is just a Radio-Image of the Venusian Surface and NOT a real view of it, has been colorized, according to an educated guess carried out by Dr Paolo C. Fienga (LXTT-IPF), in what they could reasonably be its possible Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that a human eye would perceive if someone were onboard the NASA - Magellan Spacecraft and, once the thick layer of Venusian Clouds and Fogs is completely overcome, looked down, towards the Surface of Venus itself), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team.

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