Pits in Hale Crater Ejecta
Pits in Hale Crater Ejecta
ESP_039524_1445  Science Theme: Impact Processes
The pits visible here aren’t impact craters. The material they’re embedded into is ejecta (stuff thrown out of an impact crater when it forms) from a large crater called Hale which is not seen in this image.

Substances called “volatiles”—which can explode as gases when they’re quickly warmed by the immense heat of an impact—exploded out of the ejecta and caused these pits. Unrelated sand dunes near the top of the image have since blown over portions of the pits.

Written by: Kirby Runyon (narration: Tre Gibbs)  (28 January 2015)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_039801_1445.
Acquisition date
01 January 2015

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
253.6 km (157.6 miles)

Original image scale range
50.8 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~152 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
42°, with the Sun about 48° above the horizon

Solar longitude
263.6°, Northern Autumn

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  6.9°
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IRB color
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Merged IRB
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IRB color
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Black and white
map-projected  (61MB)
non-map           (83MB)

IRB color
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non-map           (91MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (144MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (139MB)

RGB color
non map           (80MB)
Map-projected, reduced-resolution
Full resolution JP2 download
Anaglyph details page

B&W label
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.