Astronomy Picture of the Day
December 14, 2013

Fresh Crater, Old Ice (EDM n. 2)
Fresh Crater, Old Ice (EDM n. 2)

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

In this second Extra Detail Magnification obtained from a picture taken by NASA - Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on January, 30, 2012, we can see, almost as if we were there, from only a few meters above, the Unnamed and small (approx. 50 meters across) Impact Crater that, in our opinion, as IPF, is way more than just relatively recent. Look, for instance, and in addition to the dark fresh Rays left on the Surface, all around the Impact Feature itself (however, NOT visible in this EDM, but very clear in the two APOD that were published yesterday and the day before yesterday), at the fresh-looking rocks and icy debris that surround the whole Feature and which - now we can say it almost for sure - expose a more than discrete amount of bright, and really white-colored, Water Ice.


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 Martian Surface. Remember, just out of curiosity, that the Albedo (---> Reflectivity) of the Water Ice is much higher than the one of the Carbon Dioxide Ice (also known as "Dry Ice" or "CO2 Ice") and, furthermore, consider that the color of a patch of Water Ice tend to appear, to human eyes, really bright and withe, with subtle blue reflections while, in case of a patch of Carbon Dioxide Ice (as well as of a wide Surface covered by a layer of pure CO2 Ice), the color that human eyes can perceive is a kind of pale white/gray, which usually looks opaque, even when it is seen in broad daylight.


Note: due to the iper-magnification of the detail that we have carried out, now the outline of the Crater (as well as all the other features and details visible in the whole EDM) looks slightly out of focus (---> blurry).


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
Map projection: EQUIRECTANGULAR
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 an additional crop taken from 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, iper-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 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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