Science and Exploration

Crater Trio In Lunae Planum, Mars

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
March 27, 2022
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Crater Trio In Lunae Planum, Mars
Crater Trio In Lunae Planum

This image was taken on 22 March 2021 in the Lunae Planum region [16.74°N, 300.9°E] of Mars by the CaSSIS camera on the ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO).
This region is known to be covered by large lava deposits probably from the nearby Tharsis Montes volcanoes. In this image three medium-sized impact craters take centre stage, with many smaller impacts pockmarking the scene. Zooming into the larger craters it is possible to see layers in the inner rim that could represent the successive accumulation of lava flows in this area.

TGO’s full science mission began in 2018. The spacecraft is not only returning spectacular images, but also providing the best ever inventory of the planet’s atmospheric gases, and mapping the planet’s surface for water-rich locations. It will also provide data relay services for the second ExoMars mission comprising the Rosalind Franklin rover and Kazachok platform, when it arrives on Mars in 2023.

Credits: ESA/Roscosmos/CaSSIS, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO
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SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.