Astronomy Picture of the Day
March 19, 2014

Volcanic Features and more
Volcanic Features and more

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

In this VIS image, taken by the NASA - Mars Odyssey Orbiter on January, 17th, 2014, and during its 53.647th orbit around the Red Planet, we can take a look at a small area located between the gigantic Shield Volcano known as Olympus Mons and a Region called Sulci Gordii. Several interesting Volcanic-related Surface Features can be easily seen here, like Lava Flows, Tectonic Depressions and steep Channels (---> actually, they are Fissures which, in fact, are very similar to the ones found in the Martian Region known as Cerberus Fossae). On the very left (Sx) corner of the frame, two small Vertical Reliefs - with Windstreaks behind them - are also well visible.

Just out of curiosity, only a few (and small) Impact Craters (also with Windstreaks) can be spotted in the area, and this circumstance proves beyond any doubt that the Extreme Volcanism which, eons ago, affected Mars (and, likely, "redesigned" the whole Planet) occurred quite some time after the heavy Meteoric Bombardment whose results (such as the presence of a countless number of Impact Craters, of all shapes and sizes), in a way, characterize almost all the NON-Volcanic Regions of this always fascinating Celestial Body.

Latitude (centered): 17,6235° North
Longitude (centered): 233,3190° 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 18100) 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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