Bull's-Eye Impact Crater
ESP_018522_2270  Science Theme: Impact Processes
What caused the central pit within this impact crater: unusual subsurface layering or a lucky second impact?

Impacts into layers of alternately strong and weak material—for example, ice rich versus non-ice-rich—produce terracing such as that seen between the inner pit and the outer rim. Scientists have used terraced craters to estimate the thickness of lava flows on the Moon and elsewhere. Uneven sublimation and periglacial erosion of exposed ice-rich material in the interior of the crater may explain why the small central pit is slightly offset from center relative to the terrace and rim of the larger crater.

The pit in the center of the main feature could also be from a later impact crater striking inside and slightly off-center from the original. It has a raised rim, which is characteristic of impact craters and is difficult to explain with a layered target. While no ejecta from this later impact can be seen, the ejecta could have been removed by extensive periglacial modification. Additionally, the floor fill around the inner crater resembles impact ejects elsewhere at this latitude, and some of the “landslides” to the east could be flow-back of ejecta off the walls of the larger crater.

Written by: Sarah Milkovich  (28 July 2010)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_019010_2270.
Acquisition date
09 July 2010

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
303.7 km (188.8 miles)

Original image scale range
30.4 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~91 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
45°, with the Sun about 45° above the horizon

Solar longitude
115.9°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  350.8°
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IRB color
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IRB color
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Black and white
map-projected  (343MB)
non-map           (348MB)

IRB color
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non-map           (239MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (236MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (227MB)

RGB color
non map           (229MB)
Map-projected, reduced-resolution
Full resolution JP2 download
Anaglyph details page

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Color label
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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

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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.