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OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: A fresh impact on Mars

Published on Tuesday, 01 April 2014 00:00

mars-craterA relatively new impact crater on Mars, about 30m diameter. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona)

This image from the HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a fresh impact crater at 3.7°N, 53.4°E. The image was taken on 19 November 2013, in response to changes in appearance identified with the orbiter’s Context Camera between July 2010 and May 2012 – limiting the date of the impact. The crater is about 30m across and surrounded by a rayed blast zone that, in this enhanced image, appears blue because the red dust that normally covers Mars’s surface has been blown away and ejecta spread over the surface, including over some dunes. Ejected material has travelled up to 15km from the crater. More than 200 craters measuring over 3.9m across form on Mars each year, but few of them look as spectacular as this.

This image is published in the April 2014 issue of Astronomy & Geophysics magazine.


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