Astronomy Picture of the Day
February 23, 2014

Beyond the Dune - Sol 538
Beyond the Dune - Sol 538

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

This wonderful image-mosaic makes us look back at the large Dune that the NASA - Mars Exploration Rover (MER) - Mars Laboratory Curiosity drove across (---> through) during its 538th Martian Day, or Sol, of work on Mars (such as February 9, 2014). The frames used to create this image-mosaic, were taken by the Rover's Mast Camera (or "MastCam", for short) after Curiosity drove over the aforementioned Dune three days earlier.


For scale purposes, you have to know that the distance between the two parallel Wheel Tracks is about 9 feet (such as about 2,74 meters), while the Dune that has been overcome, as you should already know, is about 3 feet (such as approx. 0,91 meters) tall in the middle of its span, and just across an opening that was nickmaned "Dingo Gap". This view looks Eastward, as to the center of Gale Crater.


Note: the Rim of Gale Crater, as you can see, strangely appears of a pale pink/yellowish color. Now, this very 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 yellowish and brown Ashes, transparent Atmospheric Particulate and a pinkish/orange, really fine, Dust


This picture (which is one half of the 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 17944) 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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