Better Preserved on Mars than on Earth
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Better Preserved on Mars than on Earth
ESP_014096_1975  Science Theme: Geologic Contacts/Stratigraphy


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In many ways, Mars bears remarkable similarities to Earth, but in some ways it is drastically different. Scientists often use Earth as an example, or analog, to help us to understand the geologic history of the Red Planet.

As we continue to study Mars, it is vitally important to remember in what ways it differs from Earth. One very apparent way, readily observed from orbit, has to do with its preservation of numerous craters of all sizes, which are densest in its Southern hemisphere. Earth has comparatively little preserved craters—about 1,000 to 1,500 times fewer—due to very active geologic processes, especially involving water. When it comes to impact craters, there are some things that can no longer be observed on Earth, but can be observed on Mars.

This color composite shows one such example. It covers a portion of the northern central peak of a unnamed, 20-kilometer crater that contains abundant fragmental bedrock called “breccia.” The geological relationships here suggest that these breccias include ones formed by the host crater, and others formed from numerous impacts in the distant past.

Because there are fewer craters preserved on Earth, terrestrial central uplifts do not expose bedrock formed by previous craters. It may have been the case in the past, but such craters were destroyed over geologic time.

Written by: Livio Leonardo Tornabene  (13 February 2017)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_020043_1975.
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Acquisition date
29 July 2009

Local Mars time:
14:15

Latitude (centered)
17.123°

Longitude (East)
73.086°

Range to target site
279.9 km (174.9 miles)

Original image scale range
28.0 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~84 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle:
1.9°

Phase angle:
50.3°

Solar incidence angle
49°, with the Sun about 41° above the horizon

Solar longitude
312.2°, Northern Winter

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  320.4°
JPEG
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

JP2
Black and white
map-projected   (700MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (295MB)

JP2 EXTRAS
Black and white
map-projected  (331MB)
non-map           (357MB)

IRB color
map projected  (114MB)
non-map           (282MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (170MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (162MB)

RGB color
non map           (285MB)
ANAGLYPHS
Map-projected, reduced-resolution
Full resolution JP2 download
Anaglyph details page

DIGITAL TERRAIN MODEL (DTM)
DTM details page

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products
HiView

NB
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

USAGE POLICY
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/JPL/University of Arizona

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.