Astronomy Picture of the Day
November 6, 2014

Layering near the South Polar Cap of Mars
Layering near the South Polar Cap 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 September, 16th, 2014, and during its 56.592nd orbit around the Red Planet, we can see a large Field of Layers located in the South Polar Cap. More than abundant 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. Furthermore, several Surface Features that are reminding us of the so-called "Arthur C. Clarke Trees" can easily be spotted towards the Eastern side of the frame. Last, but not least, an interesting, round-shaped Surface Feature, largely filled up with Ice, but with the central portion of its Floor almost Ice-free (and which could be, in our opinion, as IPF, a partailly buried Impact Crater - can also be seen in lower left (Sx) quadrant of the picture.

Latitude (centered): 86,221° South
Longitude (centered): 177,040° 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 18770) has been additionally processed, magnified to aid the visibility of the details, contrast enhanced and sharpened, Gamma corrected and then colorized in a New Version of 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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