Monday, October 11, 2010

New Impact Crater in Arcadia Planitia

The MRO Context camera team noticed a dark spot in an image taken in August 2010 that was not present in a Mars Odyssey THEMIS image taken in December 2007.

The team therefore requested a full-resolution HiRISE image of the dark spot to determine whether it was caused by an impact. Indeed, the HiRISE image shows an approximately 7 meter-diameter fresh crater and dark ejecta blanket at this location. These small impact craters continue to form on Mars, and are most easily recognized in areas covered by bright dust.

Photo credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Note: This unnamed crater is located in Arcadia Planitia to the northwest of Erebus Montes.

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