Craters within Craters
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Craters within Craters
ESP_034942_1615  Science Theme: Impact Processes


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Sandwiched between a crater nearly 4 kilometer across and a much larger and older crater over 15-kilometers in diameter is this small impact crater with light-toned material exposed in its ejecta.

Because the material is still brighter than the surrounding surface, darker dust settling out of the atmosphere has not had time to cover it up, so the crater is fairly recent. Of course, “recent” could mean on the order of thousands of years or older. This small crater is also fairly shallow and smooth in its interior.

This light toned rock deposit is also visible along neighboring scarps and even in the rock strata exposed along the rim of the larger 15-kilometer crater, indicating that the formation of this rocky strata predates all of these craters. The brightness and color of these deposits are the result of different minerals within the rock relative to the nearby darker rocks and soils, and perhaps indicate extensive chemical interaction between water and the native rocks.

Written by: HiRISE Science Team (audio: Tre Gibbs)   (12 March 2014)

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Acquisition date
09 January 2014

Local Mars time:

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Range to target site
257.1 km (160.7 miles)

Original image scale range
25.7 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~77 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle:

Phase angle:

Solar incidence angle
64°, with the Sun about 26° above the horizon

Solar longitude
73.8°, Northern Spring

North azimuth:

Sub-solar azimuth:
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Merged IRB
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Merged RGB
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RGB color
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IRB color
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Black and white
map-projected  (334MB)
non-map           (390MB)

IRB color
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non-map           (328MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (157MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (150MB)

RGB color
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Color label
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IRB: infrared-red-blue
RGB: red-green-blue
About color products (PDF)

Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
For scale, use JPEG/JP2 black & white map-projected images

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NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit: 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.