Expanded Craters on Icy Terrain
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Expanded Craters on Icy Terrain
ESP_026510_2310  Science Theme: Climate Change
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The middle of this image contains a cluster of depressions (craters) with two levels: a small inner crater, surrounded by a shallow depression extending outward from the inner crater.

This image is located at 50 degrees north latitude, where shallow ice has been mapped by the Mars Odyssey spacecraft. MRO has detected newly-formed impact craters in this broad region that exposed shallow ice, and also revealed that it is nearly pure ice.

One interpretation of the expanded craters visible here is that a group of small impacts, probably secondary craters from a much larger primary crater, exposed the clean, shallow ice in this region. Once exposed, the ice is unstable and sublimates (passes directly from ice to gas), and the shallow depressions could gradually expand.

Written by: Alfred McEwen (audio by Tre Gibbs)  (23 May 2012)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_026998_2310.
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Acquisition date
23 March 2012

Local Mars time:
14:58

Latitude (centered)
50.721°

Longitude (East)
272.074°

Range to target site
302.2 km (188.9 miles)

Original image scale range
60.5 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~181 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle:
0.4°

Phase angle:
42.6°

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

Solar longitude
86.9°, Northern Spring

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  346.3°
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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/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.