Astronomy Picture of the Day
November 27, 2014

Alexander Hills (EDM n. 1) - Sol 817
Alexander Hills (EDM n. 1) - Sol 817

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech - MER Curiosity - Credits for the additional process. and color.: Dr Paolo C. Fienga/LXTT/IPF

Yesterday's APOD was an image-mosaic that was obtained from the Mast Camera (or "MastCam", for short) located onboard the  NASA - Mars Exploration Rover (MER) - Mars Laboratory Curiosity, which showed us a swath of Bedrock nicknamed "Alexander Hills": a place that the Rover approached for close-up inspection of some pre-selected targets. The mosaic was made by 6 (six) MastCam frames, and covered an area of about 6 feet (such as approx. 1,828 meters) across.

Today we would like to draw to your attention the first, kind of "intriguing", Surface Detail that we have noticed during a careful and deep examintion of the Contextual Frame (remember that we can see details of the Surface which are located within the workspace that was only accessible by using the Rover's Robotic Arm - or "RA", for short - from the place where the view was acquired; remember also, just for information, that all the component exposures - frames - making the image-mosaic, were taken on November, 23, 2014, during the 817th Martian Day, or Sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars).

All that said, we, as IPF, truly - and humbly, as usual - believe that every time we start looking at the Martian Surface VERY carefully and from a very close position as to the Surface, in many occasions something that may be extremely interesting comes out. This is, perhaps, one of those occasions we were talking about herebefore. Useless to say, we have NO IDEA of what this Surface Feature might actually be, but it does not take a Planetary Scientist (or a "Genius Geologist""...) to understand that such a type of Surface Configuration is pretty unusual in Nature. We might certainly speculate about it but, since every time we did it, somebody (obviously remaining anonymus) came out with nasty, totally useless, rude and - last but not least - fully uninformative comments about our opinions, we, as IPF, have decided just to show you this and a few more "intriguing" Surface Details without making any comment about them.

However, if You have some ideas, or intuitions, that you might want to share with us, just write at . Every comment, if well written and substantiated, will be published on our pages, with the credits clearly given to its Author. Thank you for Your kind interest and collaboration.

Dr Paolo C. Fienga (PhD) - President and Founder of Lunar Explorer Italia and the Italian Planetary Foundation

This picture (which is a small crop taken from an Original NASA - Mars Exploration Rover (MER) - Mars Laboratory - "Curiosity" White-Balanced image-mosaic published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal and identified by the ID n. PIA 19066) has been re-processed, magnified in order to help the Readers in viwing the details, Gamma corrected and then re-colorized in Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that a normal - meaning "in the average" - human eye would actually perceive if someone were on the Surface of Mars, near the NASA - Mars Exploration Rover (MER) - Mars Laboratory Curiosity, and then looked towards the location nicknamed Alexander Hills, inside Gale Crater), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team.

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