Astronomy Picture of the Day
February 5, 2015

On the Margin of the South Polar Cap
On the Margin of the South Polar Cap

Credits: NASA/JPL/Arizona State University (ASU) - Credits for the additional process. and color.: Dr Paolo C. Fienga/Lunar Explorer Italia/IPF

In this nice VIS image, taken by the NASA - Mars Odyssey Orbiter on December, 13th, 2014, and during its 57.556th orbit around the Red Planet, we can see the Margin of the South Polar Cap of Mars (bottom half of the picture) and a large Sand Dunefield located inside (---> on the Floor) an Unnamed Impact Crater (top half of the picture). Furthermore, most part of the aformentioned Unnamed Impact Crater is covered by Water and CO2 Ice, and this circumstance may, among other things, also affect the speed and, in particular, the direction of the Winds that created the Dunefield itself. Said that, we would be not surprised if, in a few months, the shape of the Dunes forming the Dunefield may appear substantially different as they look now.

Latitude (centered): 71,7659° South
Longitude (centered): 143,1460° 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 19190) 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 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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