Crater Central Peak
NASA/JPL/UArizona
Crater Central Peak
PSP_004242_1495  Science Theme: Composition and Photometry
This observation shows a central peak of a large, degraded impact crater in the Terra Sirenum region of the Southern hemisphere. Central peaks form during crater formation when a particularly large impactor hits the surface.

The central peak visible here (about 2/3 of the way down the full image) is interesting because it has some fluvial-like features on its south side. At lower resolution, these features appear to be channels with some connecting pits. At higher resolution (see subimage), the features appear to be troughs that are filled with dunes.

What is most interesting is the chain of pits that extends down the center of some of the troughs as seen in the subimage. It is possible that these pits are evidence of subsurface piping or hydrothermal activity. Piping occurs when subsurface water flows through soil, takes some soil with it, and causes the overlying ground to collapse. These fluvial-like features and the connected pits may have formed during a late stage of crater formation when temperatures were suitable for liquid water.


Written by: Kelly Kolb  (15 August 2007)
 
Acquisition date
22 June 2007

Local Mars time
15:01

Latitude (centered)
-30.242°

Longitude (East)
199.824°

Spacecraft altitude
254.6 km (158.2 miles)

Original image scale range
from 25.6 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) to 51.2 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning)

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle
7.1°

Phase angle
47.5°

Solar incidence angle
40°, with the Sun about 50° above the horizon

Solar longitude
262.8°, Northern Autumn

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  96°
Sub-solar azimuth:  1.0°
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POSTSCRIPT
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.