A Channel Cut into an Impact Crater
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

A Channel Cut into an Impact Crater
ESP_023825_1855  Science Theme: Volcanic Processes
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This image shows an impact crater in the eastern part of Elysium Planitia. The region is a smooth plain along the equator of Mars, between the rugged Southern highlands and the Elysium volcanic rise.

The plains have been repeatedly covered by lava flows that have filled in most of the low areas, resulting in a remarkably flat region. This particular crater has been surrounded by the youngest large lava flow known on Mars, the Athabasca Valles flood lava.

The lavas have flowed into the crater, through the lowest point in its rim, forming a leveed channel. The bottom of the crater is covered with sand dunes, so it is difficult to tell how much lava poured inside this crater. What is preserved here is one step in the process that has erased many other craters in Elysium Planitia as lava filled craters and other topographic lows.

Written by: Laszlo Kestay   (14 September 2011)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_023535_1855.

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Acquisition date:26 August 2011 Local Mars time: 2:01 PM
Latitude (centered):5.343° Longitude (East):138.871°
Range to target site:308.4 km (192.8 miles)Original image scale range:30.9 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~93 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:25 cm/pixel and North is upMap projection:Equirectangular
Emission angle:28.6° Phase angle:60.1°
Solar incidence angle:32°, with the Sun about 58° above the horizon Solar longitude:351.1°, Northern Winter
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North azimuth:96° Sub-solar azimuth:348.0°
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North azimuth:270°Sub solar azimuth:163.8°

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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.