Astronomy Picture of the Day
April 1, 2014

Dust Devil Tracks in Utopia Planitia
Dust Devil Tracks in Utopia Planitia

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 February, 5th, 2014, and during its 53.877th orbit around the Red Planet, we can see a multitude of another very common Martian Aeolian Feature (in this case, we have Dust Devil Tracks and not Windstreaks) that heavily mark the Suface of the Northern Region known as Utopia Planitia. In the upper portion of the frame, we can see at least three (and one of them is quite large) Impact Craters with Pedestal, while the highest concentration of Dust Devil Tracks is found on the Southern side of the picture.

Just out of curiosity, you may want to notice that inside the larger Impact Craters (whose interiors are, as you can see, almost completely filled up with - most likely - Wind-carried Rocky Materials) the marks of the Dust Devils that passed over them are also well visible.

Latitude (centered): 55,7328° North
Longitude (centered): 89,2858° 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 18134) 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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