Astronomy Picture of the Day
June 20, 2014

Features of the North/Western side of the Elysium Volcanic Complex
Features of the North/Western side of the Elysium Volcanic Complex

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, 8th, 2014, and during its 54.637th orbit around the Red Planet, we can see some "Dark Lobed Volcanic Material" which is, in our opinion, the cold (and now "frozen") remnant a a huge Lava Flow located to the North/West of the Elysium Volcanic Complex.

The sinuous (and lighter-colored) Channel that formed on this Dark Volcanic Material (look at upper side of the picture) was (we would say, as IPF, most likely - but there is - so far - no way to be completely sure of such a circumstance) formed by a Flow of very (extremely) fluid Lava rather than by running Water. Just as usual, only a few (and small) Impact Craters can be seen on the imaged area, which makes it - in a manner of speaking - relatively young (obviously, from just a Geological point of view).

Latitude (centered): 33,1545° North
Longitude (centered): 133,4580° East
Instrument: VIS

This image (which is a crop taken from an Original Mars Odyssey Orbiter b/w and Map-Projected frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 18487) 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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