Astronomy Picture of the Day
March 20, 2014

Volcanic Features near Alba Mons
Volcanic Features near Alba Mons

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

In this recent VIS image, taken by the NASA - Mars Odyssey Orbiter on January, 30th, 2014, and during its 53.809th orbit around the Red Planet, we can take a look at a small portion of the large Lava Flows coming from the Martian Volcano known as Alba Mons. The Depression, as well as rhe Collapse Features (---> Collapse Pit-Chain) visible here - on the lower portion of the pciture - and (partially) within the Flows themselves, are connected to the huge System of Tectonic Surface Features created - most likely - by the (apparent) collapse of the Volcano on itself (a collapse that was due, according to Planetary Scientists, to its enormous weight).

Just out of curiosity, and as we had already noticed in yesterday's APOD, even in this area only a few (and small) Impact Craters can be spotted, and this circumstance proves - beyond any doubt - that the Extreme Volcanism which, eons ago, affected Mars (and that, most likely, "redesigned" the whole Planet) must have 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): 32,2307° North
Longitude (centered): 245,0560° 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 18126) 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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