Astronomy Picture of the Day
May 16, 2015

Layering in Promethei Chasma
Layering in Promethei Chasma

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

In this, once again, truly beautiful VIS image, taken by the NASA - Mars Odyssey Orbiter on August, 8th, 2003, and during its 7.310th orbit around the Red Planet, we can see another small portion of the peculiar Surface of the South Polar Cap during the Martian Southern Springtime. In particular, we are looking at the Margin of the South Polar Cap, in the Martian Region known as Promethei Chasma.

The Layering (also known as South Polar Layered Deposits, or SPLD for short) - made of Water and Carbon Dioxide Ice -  which characterizes most of this Region is well visible in the top half of the image. Even here, s few areas of the South Polar Cap - where the Water and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Ice has already sublimed - can be easily spotted on the central and lower right (Dx) side (East) of the picture.

Latitude (centered): 82,2554° South
Longitude (centered): 141,6070° East
Instrument: VIS

This image (which is an Original Mars Odyssey Orbiter falsely colored and Map-Projected frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 19462) 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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