Astronomy Picture of the Day
September 20, 2014

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

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 September, 2nd, 2014, and during its 56.419th orbit around the Red Planet, we can see a small part of the South Polar Cap of Mars, with its typical, (and often) sinuous Layers (---> South Polar Layered Deposits - or SPLD for short), as well as a few areas where the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Ice has already disappeared (by way of Sublimation), thus allowing us to see some brown/reddish naked Terrain, most likely made of small Rocks and compacted Sand.

Latitude (centered): 86,7159° South
Longitude (centered): 160,2470° 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 18714) 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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