Astronomy Picture of the Day
February 3, 2015

Features of the Margin of the North Polar Cap of Mars
Features of the Margin of the North 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 suggestive and colorful VIS image, taken by the NASA - Mars Odyssey Orbiter on November, 26th, 2002, and during its 4.211th orbit around the Red Planet, we can see a small portion of the North Polar Regions of Mars.

Among the several (many, in fact) interesting Surface Features that we can see in this picture, we suggest you to pay special attention to the North Polar Layered Deposits, characterized by quite well visible Unconformities (check the upper central portion of the frame) as well as to the presence of areas that are still covered by Water Ice and Frost (that look, here, white-colored) and areas which are almost completely Ice-free (and that look orange/brown colored).

Last, but not least, three Medium-sized Unnamed Impact Craters - with extremely dark (actually black) Rims - can easily be identified in the picture; please notice that the third one - such as the Easternmost, located in the lower right - Dx - portion of the frame, and very close to edge of it, has litterally been "cut in one half" by (probably relatively recent - of course, Geologically speaking) Icy Layered Deposits. The Floors of all three Craters are covered (better yet: filled, most likely) by a thin Layer of Water Ice Frost.

Latitude (centered): 80,0740° North
Longitude (centered): 43,0149° East
Instrument: VIS

This image (which is an Original Mars Odyssey Orbiter false colors and Map-Projected frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 19033) has been additionally processed, magnified to aid the visibility of the details, contrast enhanced and sharpened, Gamma corrected and then re-colorized in Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that a normal 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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