Astronomy Picture of the Day
March 12, 2015

The Dunes of Proctor Crater
The Dunes of Proctor 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 impressive image, taken by the NASA - Mars Odyssey Orbiter on January, 18th, 2015, and during its 58.099th  orbit around the Red Planet, we can see a portion (actually, a VERY small portion) of the large Dunefield existing on the Floor of Proctor Crater

Proctor Crater is a very large Impact Crater located in the Noachis Quadrangle, and centered at 48° South Latitude and 330,5° West Longitude. It is approx. 168,2 Km (such as about 104,54 miles) in diameter, and it was so named after Dr Richard A. Proctor, a British Astronomer (who was born in Chelsea, London - UK - on March, 23, 1837, and died in New York City - USA - on September, 12, 1888).

The Crater contains an about 35 x 65 Km (such as roughly 21,73 x 40,365 miles) Dark Dunefield which was one of the first Sand Dunefields ever recognized by Planetary Scientists on Mars after the analysis of the NASA - Mariner 9 images.

Latitude (centered): 47,4529° South
Longitude (centered): 30,7164° East
Instrument: VIS

This image (which is a crop taken out from an Original Mars Odyssey Orbiter b/w and Map-Projected frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 19227) 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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