Astronomy Picture of the Day
May 31, 2015

Features of the Northern 'Cliff-Face' of Ganges Chasma
Features of the Northern 'Cliff-Face' of Ganges 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 really beautiful VIS image, taken by the NASA - Mars Odyssey Orbiter on August, 14th, 2003, and during its 7.380th orbit around the Red Planet, we can see a small portion of the Northern "Cliff-Face" of Ganges Chasma. Ganges Chasma is a deep Canyon found at the Eastern End of the Great Valles Marineris Canyon System. It was so named after the River Ganges.

Ganges Chasma is thought, by Planetary Scientists, to have formed through a series of Catastrophic Discharges of Water and CO2 from Chaos Terrains, such as the ones preserved in Ganges Chaos, which is located at its Southern Margin. However, most of the evidence for these Catastrophic Discharges - and the ensuing (---> subsequent) Collapses - is believed to have been washed away (---> destroyed) eons ago.

Prior to developing an outlet that joined it to Capri Chasma and the connected Outflow Channels to its East, Ganges Chasma may - at some point during the Noachian Period of Mars' Geological History - have contained a Lake which drained out Northward (---> toward the North), through partially Underground Pathways (---> corridors located in the Sub-Surface of the Planet) into Shalbatana Vallis.

Latitude (centered): 6,68954° South
Longitude (centered): 312,13500° 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 19473) 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 - meaning "in the average" - 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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