Astronomy Picture of the Day
February 18, 2015

Multiple Dunefields on the Floor of Hooke Crater
Multiple Dunefields on the Floor of Hooke Crater

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 January, 11th, 2015, and during its 58.808th orbit around the Red Planet, we can see multiple Dunefields which cover the Floor of Hooke Crater, an Impact Crater (approx. 139 Km - such as about 86,319 miles in diameter) - found in the Argyre Quadrangle on Mars and centered at 45,2° South Latitude and 44,4° West Longitude. Its name was approved in the AD 1973 by the International Astronomical Union (or "IAU", for short), after Robert Hooke (1635 - 1703): an English Natural Philosopher, Architect and Polymath.

Just out of curiosity, some of the Dunes found on the Floor of Hooke Crater have Gullies on them, but they are not visible in this image. However, considering that these Gullies look quite a bit different from the ones found on the Crater Walls as well as on other Steep Slopes, some Planetary Scientists thought that they could have ben caused by the action of Flowing Water. Unfortunately, this theory, no matter how suggestive it may seem and sound to us, as for now, cannot be substantiated in any way.

Latitude (centered): 44,8922° South
Longitude (centered): 315,4180° East
Instrument: VIS

This image (which is an Original Mars Odyssey Orbiter b/w and Map-Projected frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 19205) 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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