Cracks in a Crater
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Cracks in a Crater's Ice
ESP_047247_1150  Science Theme: Impact Processes


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Many impact craters on Mars were filled with ice in past climates. Sometimes this ice flows or slumps down the crater walls into the center and acquires concentric wrinkles as a result. This image shows an example of this.

There are other ways that scientists know the material in the crater is icy. Surface cracks that form polygonal shapes cover the material in the crater. They are easy to see in this spring-time image because seasonal frost hides inside the cracks, outlining them in bright white. These cracks form because ice within the ground expands and contracts a lot as it warms and cools.

Scientists can see similar cracks in icy areas of the Earth and other icy locations on Mars. If you look closely, you’ll see small polygons inside larger ones. The small polygons are younger and the cracks shallower while the large ones are outlined with cracks that penetrate more deeply.

Written by: Shane Byrne  (7 December 2016)
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Acquisition date
24 August 2016

Local Mars time:
15:49

Latitude (centered)
-64.543°

Longitude (East)
82.181°

Range to target site
248.8 km (155.5 miles)

Original image scale range
49.8 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~149 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle:
4.1°

Phase angle:
62.0°

Solar incidence angle
65°, with the Sun about 25° above the horizon

Solar longitude
210.1°, Northern Autumn

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  99°
Sub-solar azimuth:  33.2°
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IRB: infrared-red-blue
RGB: red-green-blue
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Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
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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.