Astronomy Picture of the Day
June 17, 2014

Features of Granicus Valles Channels' System
Features of Granicus Valles Channels' System

Credits: NASA/JPL/Arizona State University (ASU) - Credits for the additional process. and color.: Dr Paolo C. Fienga/Lunar Explorer Italia/IPF

In this VIS image, taken by the NASA - Mars Odyssey Orbiter on April, 2nd, 2014, and during its 54.562th orbit around the Red Planet, we can see a few Channels which all belong to the large Granicus Valles Channels' System. Granicus Valles is located just West of the Elysium Mons Volcanic Complex and it was carved, most likely, by Flow of Lava rather than Water.

However, according to the reliable opinion of several Planetary Scientists, the Granicus Valles Channels' System could also have been formed - at least partly - because of the action of large amounts of Sub-Surface Water, and through a process known as "Sapping" (---> a process of Erosion where running Water leaks to the Surface through the Pores existing in the Rocks; afterwards, as the Water flows away, its - erosional - action slowly removes Material and ends up by forming Valleys and Channel Networks).

Latitude (centered): 28,0545° North
Longitude (centered): 135,0550° 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 18482) has been additionally processed, magnified to aid the visibility of the details, contrast enhanced and sharpened, 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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