Astronomy Picture of the Day
December 12, 2013

Fresh Crater, Old Ice (CTX Frame)
Fresh Crater, Old Ice (CTX Frame)

Credits: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona - Credits for the additional process. and color.: Dr Paolo C. Fienga/LXTT/IPF

In this frame, taken by NASA - Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on January, 30, 2012, we can see the result of a minor Meteorite Impact (that, in our opinion , as IPF, we believe that was more than just relatively recent - look at the dark fresh Rays left on the Surface, all around the Impact Feature) which excavated this small Crater on the Northern Plains of Mars and, by doing so, exposed what seems to be a more than discrete amount of bright Water Ice that, quite obviously, was hiding just (and here, in this specific case, we are talking about a few meters, maybe only - or even less than - 2 or 3) under the Surface itself. 

Mars Local Time: 14:47 (Early Afternoon)
Coord. (centered): 43,884° North Lat. and 204,346° East Long.
Spacecraft altitude: 303,5 Km (such as about 188,473 miles)
Original image scale range: 30,4 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binningso objects ~ 91 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale: 25 cm/pixel
Emission Angle: 7,6°
Phase Angle: 48,0°
Solar Incidence Angle: 40° (meaning that the Sun was about 50° above the Local Horizon at the time the picture was taken)
Solar Longitude: 64,1° (Northern Spring - Southern Fall)
Credits: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Additional process. and coloring: Lunar Explorer Italia

This picture (which is a NASA - Original Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter b/w and NON-Map Projected frame identified by the serial n. ESP_025840_2240) has been additionally processed, reduced in size, 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 Reconnaissance 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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