Astronomy Picture of the Day
September 27, 2014

Features of the South Polar Regions of Mars
Features of the South Polar Regions of Mars

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, 31st, 2014, and during its 56.402nd orbit around the Red Planet, we can see a small part of the the Eastern Rim of a large and old Unnamed Impact Crater located near the South Polar Cap. Traces of Residual Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Ice and quite a few Sand Dunes which are now Frost-free can also be seen all over the area (and, in particular, inside the Crater). Furthermore, several Surface Features that are reminding us of the so-called "Arthur C. Clarke Trees" can easily be spotted towards othe upper part (North) of the frame.

Latitude (centered): 78,815° South
Longitude (centered): 214,370° 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 18722) 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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