Astronomy Picture of the Day
November 19, 2013

On the Outer Rim of Endeavour Crater: Murray Ridge - Sol 3466
On the Outer Rim of Endeavour Crater: Murray Ridge - Sol 3466

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

Today's APOD is an image-mosaic that shows us the lower reaches of an area of Meridiani Planum (please, remember that we are now very close to the Outer Rim of the large Endeavour Crater) that is informally known as "Murray Ridge". The individual images that were used to create this mosaic were all acquired during the 3466th Sol (such as October, 24, 2013 on Earth) of exploration of the Martian peri-Equatorial Region of Meridiani Planum, by using the Navigation Camera (or "NavCam", for short) that is onboard the NASA - Mars Exploration Rover (MER) - "Opportunity".

This Ridge, as we mentioned herebefore, is part of the Outer Rim of Endeavour Crater and it has been identified by the Opportunity's Science Team as an important Site for scientific exploration. The Ridge has been (so far) informally named "Murray Ridge" to honor the late Dr Bruce Murray, who made fundamental advances in Mars Science and who led the NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory through a period of great challenges and achievements.

This frame (which is an Original NASA - Mars Exploration Rover (MER) - "Opportunity" b/w image-mosaic published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal and identified by the ID n. PIA 17585) has been additionally processed (where the additional processing has been based on the assumption that the Atmospheric Opacity - "TAU" - of the pictured area was LOW), Gamma corrected and then colorized, according to an educated guess carried out by Dr Paolo C. Fienga/LXTT/IPF, in Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that a normal - meaning "in the average" - human eye would actually perceive if someone were on the Surface of Mars, near the NASA - Mars Exploration Rover (MER) - Opportunity, and then looked ahead, towards the Surface, Horizon and Sky over Endeavour Crater), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team.

Note: please consider that the Martian Sky (as it has been colored and represented in this picture) appears extremely dark because quite a few of the frames used to make the mosaic were taken during the hours of the Martian Middle/Late Afternoon, such as during that period of the day when the luminosity of the Martian Sky itself (better yet: that porton of it which is not near, around and/or right above the Sun's disk) drops rapidly and dramatically.

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