A Large Crater in Meridiani Planum
A Large Crater in Meridiani Planum
ESP_036397_1785  Science Theme: Aeolian Processes
This crater is located in Meridiani Planum, about 20-kilometers northwest of where the Opportunity rover landed in 2004 (and about 42-kilometers northwest of Endeavour Crater’s rim, where the rover has been busy the past few years). Although it’s in the opposite direction from where the rover went, this crater is still an interesting place.

With a diameter of 4-kilometers, it’s the largest crater in the region other than Endeavour Crater (22 kilometers). It’s also a little more than 5 times larger than Victoria Crater (0.75 km), which Opportunity spent nearly 2 years investigating from 2006-2008 (compare with TRA_000873_1780).

What makes it worth checking out? This crater is much older than Victoria Crater. Compare the smooth, rounded rim of this crater to the jagged edge of Victoria's actively-eroding rim. In comparison with Victoria, this crater is much more filled in by sediments, and its rim is more planed off by erosion. Despite the difference in age and scale, these two craters, and most such craters in Meridiani Planum, have much in common. Both craters have exposed bedrock layers along the rim, a field of bright ripples on the crater floor, and dark sand that has piled up along the north inner crater rim and that extends to the northwest on the plains beyond the crater.

Written by: Lori Fenton  (4 June 2014)
Acquisition date
02 May 2014

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
268.9 km (167.1 miles)

Original image scale range
26.9 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~81 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
56°, with the Sun about 34° above the horizon

Solar longitude
124.8°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  32.5°
Black and white
map projected  non-map

IRB color
map projected  non-map

Merged IRB
map projected

Merged RGB
map projected

RGB color
non-map projected

Black and white
map-projected   (880MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (509MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (452MB)
non-map           (480MB)

IRB color
map projected  (165MB)
non-map           (424MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (218MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (222MB)

RGB color
non map           (389MB)
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.