Astronomy Picture of the Day
July 26, 2014

Features of Rubicon Valles
Features of Rubicon Valles

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

In this VIS image, taken by the NASA - Mars Odyssey Orbiter on April, 28th, 2014, and during its 54.883rd orbit around the Red Planet, we can see a very small portion of the Martian Volcanic sub-Region (whose total length is approx. 240 Km - such as about 149,04 miles) known as Rubicon Valles: in fact, Rubicon Valles is a Complex sub-Region full of Channels (all of them having, according to Logic as well as to the studies that have been carried out so far by Planetary Scientists, a Volcanic Origin) that is located on the North/Western Flank of the large Martian Volcano named Alba Mons.

Even in this specific case, the general Cratering of the area is relatively low, and all the visible Impact Craters appear to be small-to-medium-sized and quite young (Geologically speaking). An interesting (yet tiny) Crater-Cluster can be seen on the lower right (Dx) margin of the picture; notice - also - that a few Impact Craters which appear to be "Double" are, in fact, Single Craters. The reason of such a misleading appearence is due to a poorly-made assembling of the different frames that form the full image.

Latitude (centered): 45,1688° North
Longitude (centered): 243,2630° East
Instrument: VIS

This image (which is a crop taken from an Original Mars Odyssey Orbiter b/w and Map-Projected frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 18546) has been additionally processed, magnified to aid the visibility of the details, contrast enhanced and sharpened, Gamma corrected and then colorized in Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that a 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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