Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Fresh Impact Crater

By SpaceRef Editor
October 23, 2003
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-522, 23 October 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
picture shows a young, fresh meteor impact crater in
southeast Arabia Terra acquired in August 2003. The crater
is inferred to be young because it still has a finely-detailed
pattern of rays associated with its ejecta. These rays formed
in a dusty mantle that covers the other craters and rocky
terrain at this locale. The crater is young enough that there
has not been sufficient time for new dust to cover the rays,
or for winds to erase them. The small dark dots associated
with the crater are boulders. The boulders were
ejected by the impact event. This crater is located
near 6.9°S, 317.1°W.
The picture covers an area approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) wide and
is illuminated by sunlight from the lower 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.