A Classic Bowl on Mars
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

A Classic Bowl on Mars
ESP_020245_2190  Science Theme: Glacial/Periglacial Processes
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The 4 kilometer (2.5 mile) diameter crater in this image appears relatively fresh, but not remarkably so. It's not terribly small, or terribly large. It does have several nice gullies, the original justification for taking an image here, mostly in the shadowed portion of the crater walls. In addition, it is a very well-formed example of a simple bowl-shaped crater.

The reason for the term "bowl shape" is readily apparent from the HiRISE image, which shows a nearly circular, raised rim and steep, smoothly sloping walls. This form is representative of relatively small craters everywhere in the solar system: at larger sizes, the shape of the crater profile changes.

The diameter at which craters begin to transition from this simple bowl shape to more complex forms depends on the material properties of the surface and the surface gravity, but on Mars it is about 7 kilometers (not quite 4.5 miles). As crater diameter increases, peaks, pits, or rings of peaks start to form at the center, and the rim begins to slump into terraces.

Written by: Nicole Baugh   (9 February 2011)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_020667_2190.



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Acquisition date:21 November 2010 Local Mars time: 3:30 PM
Latitude (centered):38.685° Longitude (East):316.123°
Range to target site:297.0 km (185.7 miles)Original image scale range:29.7 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~89 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:25 cm/pixel and North is upMap projection:Equirectangular
Emission angle:2.9° Phase angle:66.0°
Solar incidence angle:63°, with the Sun about 27° above the horizon Solar longitude:184.7°, Northern Autumn
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North azimuth:97° Sub-solar azimuth:338.1°
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North azimuth:270°Sub solar azimuth:153.9°

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All of the images produced by HiRISE and accessible on this site are within the public domain: there are no restrictions on their usage by anyone in the public, including news or science organizations. We do ask for a credit line where possible: Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
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For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit: http://www.nasa.gov. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona. The image data were processed using the U.S. Geological Survey’s ISIS3 software.