Colorful Rocks in Ritchey Crater
Colorful Rocks in Ritchey Crater
ESP_011635_1510  Science Theme: Impact Processes
The enhanced color image of this observation includes some interesting features in and near the central uplift of Ritchey Crater.

At the top is an ancient streambed, and above center are multicolored rocks and minerals in the central uplift. Large impact craters are unstable when they are formed, because their walls are so steep. Gravity causes the walls to collapse toward the center of the crater, colliding to form an uplift or peak. This process of central uplift formation can bring rocks from deep in the crater walls up to the surface.

The angular bright blocks near the center of this image show that this process breaks the wall rocks into fragments as the central uplift is formed.

Written by: Ken Herkenhoff  (25 February 2009)

This is a stereo pair with PSP_002682_1510.
Acquisition date
19 January 2009

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
254.4 km (158.1 miles)

Original image scale range
26.5 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~79 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
61°, with the Sun about 29° above the horizon

Solar longitude
194.0°, Northern Autumn

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  15.6°
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Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
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NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

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.