Astronomy Picture of the Day
November 25, 2014

Features of the South Polar Cap of Mars
Features of 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 October, 4th, 2014, and during its 56.812nd orbit around the Red Planet, we can see the Complex Surface of the South Polar Cap of Mars, featuring not just (the usual, in a way) different Surface Textures which are typical of these Regions (i.e.: from the so-called "Swiss-cheese Terrain" to relatively large and flat Fields of Terrain covered by reddish Dust), but also Ridges and Valleys as well.

Last, but not least, no obvious marks left on the Surface by the occurrence of (even small) Impacts can be seen on the whole scene (and this circumstance proves, beyond any reasonable doubt - in our humble opinion, as IPF -, that this specific Polar Surface, just like the one of the Saturnian moon Enceladus, is fresh and changes substantially on - almost - continuous bases).

Latitude (centered): 85,7237° South
Longitude (centered): 302,8990° 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 18957) 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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