An Impact North of Valles Marineris
An Impact North of Valles Marineris
ESP_011425_1775  Science Theme: Impact Processes
Repeat imaging of the same location on Mars allows us to detect changes, including new impacts. This recent crater is known to have formed between February 2005 and July 2005.

Before and after images enable us to “age” a crater to within a few months or years. HiRISE often confirms the existence of craters identified in pre-existing lower resolution images.

Incoming impactors form new craters and deposit rock, in what is called an ejecta blanket that is outside the crater. The ejecta blanket resembles a splash pattern when seen from above. The dark colors in the image show a portion of the blanket, including far-flung small pieces of rock. The blue likely represents dark basaltic rocks, a volcanic rock commonly found in places like Hawaii, on top of the dust-covered surface.

The radial features of the crater are comprised of ejecta and often termed “rays.” Rays are used to help identify more recent craters and find them in images. Older craters do not have rays as they have been eroded away. As is clear from an example like this, impact craters allow us to study the subsurface portions of planetary bodies.

Written by: Leah Sacks, Livio Leonardo Tornabene, Chimira Andres, Vidhya and Ganesh Rangarajan  (3 February 2020)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_012282_1775.
Acquisition date
02 January 2009

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
260.1 km (161.6 miles)

Original image scale range
26.2 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~79 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
58°, with the Sun about 32° above the horizon

Solar longitude
184.5°, Northern Autumn

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  4.4°
Black and white
map projected  non-map

IRB color
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Merged IRB
map projected

Merged RGB
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RGB color
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Black and white
map-projected   (462MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (200MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (210MB)
non-map           (260MB)

IRB color
map projected  (64MB)
non-map           (196MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (127MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (122MB)

RGB color
non map           (177MB)
Map-projected, reduced-resolution
Full resolution JP2 download
Anaglyph details page

DTM details page

B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products

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

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:

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. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona.