Astronomy Picture of the Day
December 15, 2013

Fresh Crater, Old Ice in Vastitas Borealis (CTX Frame)
Fresh Crater, Old Ice in Vastitas Borealis (CTX Frame)

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/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 May, 19, 2010, we can see, once again, the result of another minor Meteorite Impact (an extremely recent one, that occurred in between March 2008 and the early May 2010 - look at the dark fresh Rays left on the Surface, all around the Impact Feature) which excavated a new small Crater on the Northern Plains of Mars and, by doing so, exposed and scattered what seems to be, even in this case, 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 only a few meters, maybe - or even less than - 2 or 3) under the Surface itself. 

Mars Local Time: 14:50 (Early Afternoon)
Coord. (centered): 63,894° North Lat. and 44,889° East Long.
Spacecraft altitude: 314,4 Km (such as about 195,242 miles)
Original image scale range: 31,5 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binningso objects ~ 94 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale: 25 cm/pixel
Emission Angle: 7,1°
Phase Angle: 54,2°
Solar Incidence Angle: 48° (meaning that the Sun was about 42° above the Local Horizon at the time the picture was taken)
Solar Longitude: 92,9° (Northern Summer - Southern Winter)
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_017868_2440) 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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