Astronomy Picture of the Day
December 17, 2013

Fresh Crater, Old Ice in Vastitas Borealis (EDM n. 2)
Fresh Crater, Old Ice in Vastitas Borealis (EDM n. 2)

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

In this second Extra Detail Magnification, always obtained from a frame taken by NASA - Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on May, 19, 2010, we can see (in fact, really very well), the result of another minor Meteorite Impact (a recent one, that must have occurred - according to NASA - some time in between March 2008 and the early May 2010) which excavated a new and extremely small Crater (that is no more than approx. 15/20 meters in diameter - or, most likely, even less than that) on the Northern Plains of Mars.

The Impact Event (which we, as IPF, believe that was a "Cold Impact") exposed and scattered a discrete amount of bright Water Ice that, quite obviously, was hiding just (and here, in this specific case, we are talking about an extremely low depth - perhaps 1 meter, or even less than that) 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 crop taken from 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, 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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