Astronomy Picture of the Day
May 3, 2015

Spirit of St. Louis Crater and Surroundings - Soles 3973 and 3974
Spirit of St. Louis Crater and Surroundings - Soles 3973 and 3974

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ. and Arizona State Univ. - Credits for the additional process. and color.: Dr Paolo C. Fienga/LXTT/IPF

An elongated Impact Crater, called "Spirit of St. Louis", with a Rock Spire inside it, dominates a recent scene which came from the Panoramic Camera (or "PanCam", for short) located onboard the NASA - Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. In fact, Opportunity completed its 4.000 Martian Day, or Sol, of work on Mars on April 26, 2015 and, remember, the Rover has been exploring Mars (Meridiani Planum Region) since the early AD 2004!

This scene, obtained in the late March 2015, shows us a really shallow Impact Crater - as we said above, called Spirit of St. Louis -, which is about 110 feet (such as approx. 33,528 meters) long, and about 80 feet (such as approx. 24,384 meters) wide, with a Floor slightly darker than surrounding Terrain. The Rocky Feature visible toward the far end of the Crater is about 7 to 10 feet (such as approx. 2,13 up to roughly 3,048 meters) tall, and it raises higher than the Crater's Rim.

The component images of this Mosaic view were taken on March 29 and 30, 2015, during the Soles 3973 and 3974 of the Mission. The view is centered toward the North/East and, for your information, the Rover's exact location and the Spirit of Saint Louis Crater are near the center of a Map that can be found at

This picture (which is an Original b/w Image-Mosaic obtained by the NASA - Mars Opportunity Rover on March, 29 and 30, 2015, and identified, on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal, by the ID n. PIA-19393) has been additionally processed, magnified in order to help the visibility of the Landscape's details, Gamma corrected and then colorized in Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that a normal - in the average - human eye would actually perceive if someone were on the Surface of Mars, near the NASA - Mars Opportunity Rover , and then looked ahead, towards the Horizon and Sky above Endeavour Crater), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team.

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