Astronomy Picture of the Day
September 19, 2014

Features of the South Polar Cap of Mars (Part I)
Features of the South Polar Cap of Mars (Part I)

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 August, 22nd, 2014, and during its 56.290th orbit around the Red Planet, we can see that Spring has finally arrived at the South Pole of Mars. The multitude of Layers (---> South Polar Layered Deposits - or SPLD, for short) that make up the Cap are easily visible in this VIS image. A Vertical Relief of uncertain nature and unusually-looking shape can also be well seen in the upper portion of the frame, towards the East (Dx).

Latitude (centered): 84,0207° South
Longitude (centered): 220,8270° 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 18712) 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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