Degradation of Craters in Noachis Terra
Degradation of Craters in Noachis Terra
ESP_062388_1450  Science Theme: Composition and Photometry
Small impact craters usually have simple bowl shapes, but in some cases surface properties or processes can alter this shape in unusual ways.

This image shows an approximately 300-meter impact crater that appears to have narrow terraces around the rim. How could these different crater morphologies form? One explanation is that the impact occurred into a surface with layers of differing strengths. However, the clearest example of this type of crater are better-preserved than this one.

Additional clues come from other craters that have a raised mound in the center as opposed to a depression and are sometimes referred to as inverted craters due to their topography. These craters were filled with sediment (or some material stronger than the surrounding material), and subsequent erosion removed the terrain around the filled material, leaving a small mound behind.

Written by: Eric Pilles, Will Yingling, and Livio L. Tornabene  (3 February 2020)
Acquisition date
17 November 2019

Local Mars time

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Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
255.3 km (158.7 miles)

Original image scale range
51.7 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~155 cm across are resolved

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50 cm/pixel and North is up

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77°, with the Sun about 13° above the horizon

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108.2°, Northern Summer

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Sub-solar azimuth:  49.0°
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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.