Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dual Craters

If a meteorite breaks in two shortly before hitting the ground, the typical bowl shape of a single impact crater becomes doubled. The two circular blast regions intersect, creating a straight wall separating the two craters. At the same time, "wings" of ejected debris shoot out to the side. The image covers an area 13 kilometers (8 miles) wide.

This picture was taken in May 2005 by the Thermal Emission Imaging System instrument on NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter and posted in a special December 2010 set marking the occasion of Odyssey becoming the longest-working Mars spacecraft in history.

Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

Note: Unfortunately, there is no mention of this unique crater's location in the official photo caption.

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