Astronomy Picture of the Day
October 2, 2014

South Polar Layered Deposits
South Polar Layered Deposits

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, 20th, 2014, and during its 56.263rd orbit around the Red Planet, we can see a small part of the Complex System of Layered Deposits which are located at the South Polar Cap of Mars. The Dark Patches visible in some part of the frame are, most likely, ground areas where the Carbon Dioxide Ice (CO2) and Frost have already sublimed, thus showing the Rocky and Dusty Terrain lying underneath the frozen Surface. Furthermore, a group of three small - but highly reflective - Knobs is also visible in lower Left (Sx) corner of the picture; on the other hand, no Impact Craters can be spotted in this Region.

Latitude (centered): 82,7003° South
Longitude (centered): 274,0500° 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 18727) 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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