Astronomy Picture of the Day
December 8, 2015

Dark Sand near the South Pole of Mars
Dark Sand near the South Pole of Mars

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

In this simply beautiful VIS image, taken by the NASA - Mars Odyssey Orbiter on October, 3rd, 2005, and during its 16.870th orbit around the Red Planet, we can see, once again, Sand Dunes and other diffuse Sand (and Dust perhaps) Materials deposited in several Surface Depressions (maybe Volcanic, in origin) which are all located near the South Pole of Mars.

The dark (actually almost black) areas visible in this picture show us the locations where the Sand (and Dust) has been transported - by way of Aeolian (---> such as Wind-related) Actions - from one Surface Depression to another.

Latitude (centered): 75,1264° South
Longitude (centered): 348,8820° 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 20105) 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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