Astronomy Picture of the Day
February 6, 2014

Looking forward - Sol 528
Looking forward - Sol 528

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

This image-mosaIc combines several frames taken by the Left-Eye Camera of the Mast Camera (or "MastCam", for short) Instrument located onboard the NASA - Mars Exploration Rover (MER) - Mars Laboratory Curiosity during the Early Afternoon hours (such as in between 12:30 ans 15:30 Mars Local Solar Time), of the 528th Martian Day, or Sol (such as January, 30, 2014) of the Mission. The Rover is looking into a Valley to the West, from the Eastern Side of a Dune found at the Eastern End of the Valley itself. The team operating the NASA - Mars Exploration Rover (MER) - Mars Laboratory Curiosity has chosen this Valley as a likely route toward mid-term and long-term Science Destinations. The foreground Dune, found at a location called "Dingo Gap" (see, if you wish, the APOD of January 1st and 2nd 2014), is about 3 feet (such as about 91,44 cm) high in the middle, and tapered at its Southern and Northern Ends onto low Scarps which are located on both sides of the Gap.

The center of the view is about 10° South of the straight West, while The left edge is about 20° West of the straight South. The right edge of the scene looks towards the North/West. The largest of the Dark Rocks lying on the Sand in the right half of the mosaic are about 2 feet (such as a little less than 61 cm) across.

Note: the Rim of Gale Crater, as you can see, strangely appears of a pale green/bluish color. Now, this extremely unusal chromatic effect might be due - probably and in our opinion, as IPF - to the presence and combination, in the lowest Strata of the Martian Atmosphere, as it is at the level of the Floor of Gale Crater, of suspended micro-particles of gray/bluish Water-Ice and Water Vapor, yellowish and brown Ashes, transparent Atmospheric Particulate and a red/orange, really fine, Dust

This picture (which is an Original NASA - Mars Exploration Rover (MER) - Mars Laboratory - "Curiosity" White-Balanced image-mosaic published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal and identified by the ID n. PIA 17931) has been additionally processed, reduced in size, Gamma corrected and then re-colorized in Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that a normal - meaning "in the average" - human eye would actually perceive if someone were on the Surface of Mars, near the NASA - Mars Exploration Rover (MER) - Mars Laboratory Curiosity, and then looked ahead, towards the Rim of Gale Crater), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team.

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