Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Bouldery Impact Ejecta

By SpaceRef Editor
November 29, 2004
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-925, 29 November 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Meteor impact craters are common the surfaces of most solid
objects in the Solar System. They are least common on the
volcanically-active moon of Jupiter, Io, and on Earth, where
volcanism, tectonism, and erosion have all acted to erase the
record of impact cratering. On Mars, erosion has also been
vigorous enough to destroy craters. In other areas on Mars,
craters have been filled and buried within the planet’s bedrock.
This October 2004 Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
image shows a relatively young impact crater on the floor
of the outflow channel system of Mangala Valles. The impact
ejecta blanket in this case is quite bouldery. Some windblown
sediment has partially filled the crater. These features are located
near 15.1°S, 149.3°W. The crater is just over 300 meters
across, about one third the diameter of the famous Meteor Crater
in Arizona. The 300 meter scale bar is about 328 yards long. Sunlight
illuminates the scene from the upper left.

Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology
built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission.
MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, California.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Mars Surveyor Operations Project
operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial
partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena,
California and Denver, Colorado.

SpaceRef staff editor.