Astronomy Picture of the Day
January 11, 2014

Craters in Southern Amazonis Planitia
Craters in Southern Amazonis Planitia

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, 20th, 2013, and during its 52.949th orbit around the Red Planet, we can see two Impact Craters - with a compact Ejecta Blanket - that stand out above the surrounding Surface (these Craters are technically defined as "Pedestal Craters") and one - slightly bigger than the first two - Impact Crater that has been almost completely buried, most likely, by a Flow of Volcanic Material (you can see that only the small upper portion of the Outer Rim of this Crater can still be seen, with two small Buttes located to the North/East).

The Ejecta Blanket of the two Pedestal Craters has remained in place, while the surrounding Material was, in time, removed by the action of powerful Winds and, as a matter of fact, here, in this (Southern Side) of the Martian Region known as "Amazonis Planitia", an extensive phenomenon of Wind-related Erosion is quite common. Amazonis Planitia is one of the smoothest Volcanic Plains that can be found on Mars and it is located between the Tharsis and Elysium Volcanic Provinces, to the West of Olympus Mons, in the Amazonis and Memnonia Quadrangles

This Martian Region is centered at 24,8° North Latitude and 196° East Longitude and, just out of curiosity, the Plain's Topography exhibits extremely smooth Surface Features at several different lengths of scale.

Latitude (centered): 6,131° North
Longitude (centered): 194,416° 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 17856) 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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