Astronomy Picture of the Day
December 31, 2015

Unnamed Crater with Basaltic Sand in Noachis Terra
Unnamed Crater with Basaltic Sand in Noachis Terra

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

In this truly beautiful and interesting VIS image, taken by the NASA - Mars Odyssey Orbiter on December, 19th, 2005, and during its 17.811th orbit around the Red Planet, we can see a large portion of an extremely ancient, medium-sized, Unnamed Impact Crater located in the Martian Region known as Noachis Terra. The dark  "tongue-like" stripe of Material visible in the lower portion of the Crater, in between 6 and 8 o'clock of its Floor, is, probably (but we have no way to be sure about it), Basaltic Sand.

Noachis Terra (litterally, in Latin Language, the "Land of Noah") is an extensive (---> large) Southern Landmass (---> Terra) of the Red Planet. It lies to the West of the giant Hellas Impact Basin, and it is centered at approx. 45° South Latitude and 350° East Longitude, in the Noachis Quadrangle of Mars.

Latitude (centered): 77,991900° South
Longitude (centered): 0,491793° 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 20225) 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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