A Rare Bull’s-Eye Crater
A Rare Bull’s-Eye Crater
ESP_019727_1930  Science Theme: Impact Processes
HiRISE has seen concentric forms in craters before (ESP_018522_2270 or PSP_003398_1910) but the one present in this image seems like a very good candidate for a serendipitous second impact right in the middle of a pre-existing crater.

It appears here that the small crater in the center of the image has thrown out ejecta, including some boulders. Additionally, the 1-kilometer (a little over half a mile) central crater looks fresher (and therefore more recent) than the larger (7-km, or not quite 4.5 mi) crater, which is heavily eroded. The smaller feature also appears to have a raised rim, as would be expected for an impact crater, but not for a central pit produced by a single impact into a layered target. Although newer craters are frequently found inside older craters, this sort of bull’s-eye second impact is rare.

The cutout shows the rim of the central crater at full resolution. You can see boulders on the outside of the rim that are likely ejecta. Also visible are boulder tracks on the crater wall, formed as blocks on the rim tumbled down the slope.

Written by: Nicole Baugh  (29 November 2010)
Acquisition date
11 October 2010

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
273.5 km (170.0 miles)

Original image scale range
27.4 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~82 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

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Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
53°, with the Sun about 37° above the horizon

Solar longitude
162.4°, Northern Summer

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North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  6.0°
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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.