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Space & Astronomy

Unusual new impact crater discovered on Mars

June 18, 2019 | Comment icon 6 comments



This is one spectacular crater. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Photographed by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the crater is unlike anything scientists have seen before.
This enhanced-color image, which was snapped by the probe's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera from a distance of 255km, shows an asteroid impact crater that has produced a spectacular pattern of dark red and blue smudges across the Martian surface.

The object responsible for the crater was likely very small - less than 1.5 meters across - and while such objects typically break up upon entering the planet's thin atmosphere, this one must have been unusually solid as it managed to survive entry in one piece.
According to University of Arizona planetary scientist Veronica Bray, the impact is particularly interesting due to the darker material being exposed underneath the red dust.

The blue in the image, she says, is likely to be ice that was hidden just beneath the surface.

Studying the geology of the impact zone will no doubt keep scientists busy for some time.



Source: Science Alert | Comments (6)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by David Thomson 3 years ago
Or maybe it was a megabolt of lightning?
Comment icon #2 Posted by Dark_Grey 3 years ago
*delete*
Comment icon #3 Posted by Dark_Grey 3 years ago
How much have these images been edited? That "ice" is unusually blue for simple frozen water. It looks like the contrast has been increased. The impact site looks like someone dropped a solid steel anvil from orbit. Possible an iron meteorite?
Comment icon #4 Posted by third_eye 3 years ago
It was Iron Man, that Tony?† Tony Stank?† Anyways, don't say heard it from me...† Seriously...† No...† ~
Comment icon #5 Posted by thelion318 3 years ago
This is clearly the result of a class III tungsten core probe used by the Xarbutens from about 240,000 years ago while in search of rare Moscovium deposits. You can tell by then leftover center core. The class IV type left no such evidence.
Comment icon #6 Posted by SmartAZ 3 years ago
Reporters always assume that every crater is an impact crater. That is a mistake. Some craters are made by lightning.


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