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Mars Weather Camera Helps Find New Crater

mars meteorites craters mars reconnaissance orbiter nasa

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#1    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 01:01 AM

NASA Mars Weather Camera Helps Find New Crater on Red Planet


www.nasa.gov said:

Researchers have discovered on the Red Planet the largest fresh meteor-impact crater ever firmly documented with before-and-after images. The images were captured by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).

The crater spans half the length of a football field and first appeared in March 2012. The impact that created it likely was preceded by an explosion in the Martian sky caused by intense friction between an incoming asteroid and the planet's atmosphere. This series of events can be likened to the meteor blast that shattered windows in Chelyabinsk, Russia, last year. The air burst and ground impact darkened an area of the Martian surface about 5 miles (8 kilometers) across.

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#2    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 01:03 AM


Mars Weathercam Helps Find Big, New Crater

How before-and-after pictures led to the discovery of a fresh meteor impact crater on Mars.

Credit: NASA/JPL

Source: NASA/JPL - Videos

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#3    OverSword

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 01:16 AM

So cool.  Why do you suppose there is such brightness around the edge?  Nothing else in the image has than same intensity of white.  Is it possibly glass formed by the heat of the impact?


#4    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 07:10 AM

View PostOverSword, on 23 May 2014 - 01:16 AM, said:

So cool.  Why do you suppose there is such brightness around the edge?  Nothing else in the image has than same intensity of white.  Is it possibly glass formed by the heat of the impact?

Glass can be formed by impacts, but not to this degree. The video says that impacts on Mars can expose sub-surface ice, this is a possibility. Another is that the exposed soil excavated by the impact is lighter than the surface soil, many lunar craters have lighter "rays" of material blasted out from craters.

Another thing to consider is that these images may not be "true colour". The cameras on spacecraft can observe in many different wavelengths in order to maximise scientific returns. Depending on what filters the cameras were using it is possible that the material wouldn't look lighter to the human eye.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#5    OverSword

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 11:17 PM

ahhh.  Thank waspie.  I doubt the ice explanation but the filters (and maybe enhancement by the lab on earth) seems to make more sense.






Also tagged with mars, meteorites, craters, mars reconnaissance orbiter, nasa

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