Astronomy Picture of the Day
December 30, 2013

Shadow on the Eastern Flank of Olympus Mons
Shadow on the Eastern Flank of Olympus Mons

Credits: NASA/JPL/Arizona State University (ASU) - Credits for the additional process. and color.: Dr Paolo C. Fienga/Lunar Explorer Italia/IPF

In this VIS image, taken by the NASA - Mars Odyssey Orbiter on November, 2nd, 2013, and during its 52.723th orbit around the Red Planet, we can see a deep and dark Shadow (upper left - Sx - side of the picture) that is being cast by the Steep Margin located on the Eastern Flank of the gigantic Shield-Volcano known as Olympus Mons (which, as you know, is the tallest Mountain in the entire Solar System). On the lower right (Dx) side of the frame, a small portion of an interesting system of Collapse Features can also be easily spotted.

Just out of curiosity, you may want to notice that only four (and, in fact, relatively small and, probably, quite old) Impact Craters  can be seen in the whole scene - with two of them (located on the upper right (Dx) portion of the frame and close to another, as a matter of fact, very small, shallow and therefore difficult to spot, Collapse Feature) which are almost entirely covered by Dust and Volcanic Ashes.

Latitude (centered): 16,529° North
Longitude (centered): 230,997° East
Instrument: VIS

This image (which is an Original Mars Odyssey Orbiter b/w and Map-Projected frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 17785) 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 Odyssey 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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