Astronomy Picture of the Day
February 20, 2014

Thawing at the North Polar Erg
Thawing at the North Polar Erg

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

In this Extra Detail Maginfication (or "EDM", for short) of a crop that was obtained from a VIS image, taken by the NASA - Mars Odyssey Orbiter on December, 29th, 2013, and during its 53.424th orbit around the Red Planet, we can see, once again, a tiny portion of the Erg (---> Sea/Ocean of Dunes) that surrounds the North Polar Cap of Mars. It is Springtime, now, at the North Pole (---> in the Northern Hemisphere of Mars) and the Dunes are starting to lose their Frost cover. As the season continues towards Summer, the Dunes will appear darker and darker, as the Frost sublimates.

Latitude (centered): 81,615° North
Longitude (centered): 208,313° East
Instrument: VIS

This image (which is a crop taken from an Original Mars Odyssey Orbiter b/w and Map-Projected frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 17967) has been additionally processed, magnified to aid the visibility of the details, 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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