The Eastern Slope of Asimov Crater’s Central Pit
The Eastern Slope of Asimov Crater’s Central Pit
ESP_057522_1330  Science Theme: Mass Wasting Processes
Asimov is an 84-kilometer diameter crater located in the southern ancient highlands of Mars. It is distinguished from other craters in this region in that it contains both a ring-depression just within the crater rim and a pit near the center.

Gullies have formed along slopes both in the ring-depression and within the central pit. A closeup shows gullies and recurring slope lineae (RSL) along the eastern slope of the pit. These features continue to form seasonally in this region and the HiRISE team monitors this and other sites to look for changes.

Another closeup shows new RSL forming during the summer just after the recent global dust storm. How these features form is still under investigation. Additional changes documented here and at other locations as a result of the dust storm may provide some insight into their formation.

Written by: Ginny Gulick  (10 December 2018)
Acquisition date
03 November 2018

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
252.2 km (156.8 miles)

Original image scale range
25.2 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~76 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
38°, with the Sun about 52° above the horizon

Solar longitude
281.4°, Northern Winter

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  27.2°
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Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
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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.