A Youthful Crater in the Cydonia Colles Region
A Youthful Crater in the Cydonia Colles Region
ESP_025716_2200  Science Theme: Impact Processes
This observation shows a youthful crater with sharp rim and gullied slopes.

Just what makes a Martian crater youthful, in a geologic sense? Very old craters tend to have eroded rims and can have plenty of material that's filled in the floor. Gale Crater, where the Mars Science Laboratory will land this summer, is an example of an ancient, highly eroded crater. By contrast, the crater in this image appears to have experienced much less erosion.

Note that even though a crater might be called “youthful,” it can still mean that the crater formed thousands of years ago, if not more. For an example of a truly recent crater, see the 7 meter (about 23 feet) diameter crater in ESP_015989_1835, which we know formed sometime between 2005 and 2010.

Note: the above image is not map-projected, so North is down.

Written by: HiRISE Science Team  (1 March 2012)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_027417_2200.
Acquisition date
21 January 2012

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
297.9 km (185.2 miles)

Original image scale range
59.8 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~179 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
40°, with the Sun about 50° above the horizon

Solar longitude
59.9°, Northern Spring

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  352.0°
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Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
For scale, use JPEG/JP2 black & white map-projected images

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’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.