Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Captures New Image of an Impact Crater

MRO Captures New Impact Crater Image

An image taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) using the HiRISE camera has captured a recently formed (within the past 10 years) impact crater that caused a slope streak. The meteoroid that impacted the surface of Mars and created the crater also triggered an avalanche by destabilizing the slope. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

This HiRISE image from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) captures a new, dated (within about a decade) impact crater that triggered a slope streak. When the meteoroid hit the surface and exploded to make the crater, it also destabilized the slope and initiated this avalanche.

The crater itself is only 5 meters (16 feet) across, but the streak it started is 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) long! Slope streaks are created when dry dust avalanches leave behind dark swaths on dusty Martian hills. The faded scar of an old avalanche is also visible to the side of the new dark streak.

The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colorado. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

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