Blast Waves and Dusty Landslides
Blast Waves and Dusty Landslides
ESP_065703_1900  Science Theme: Impact Processes
Meteorites hit Mars and create small craters like the one we’ve imaged here. Usually we spot these new craters in lower-resolution images from the Context Camera because the impact disturbs dust on the surface and creates a dark mark that’s much bigger than the crater.

This meteorite hit a dusty area and made a crater, but did something a little more special to the surrounding dust. We can see dozens of dark, dust-free, streaks on slopes surrounding the crater. These slope streaks form when dust slumps downhill and happen naturally on a regular basis.

In this case though, the impact and explosion that made the crater seems to have set off many of these downhill slumps of dust simultaneously. This could have happened from the explosion’s blast wave passing through the air or the shaking of the ground that it caused.

Written by: Shane Byrne (narration: Tre Gibbs)  (14 December 2020)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_065360_1900.
Acquisition date
02 August 2020

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
275.8 km (171.4 miles)

Original image scale range
31.2 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~93 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
62°, with the Sun about 28° above the horizon

Solar longitude
250.3°, Northern Autumn

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  96°
Sub-solar azimuth:  328.0°
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IRB color
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Black and white
map-projected  (411MB)
non-map           (452MB)

IRB color
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non-map           (355MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (273MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (259MB)

RGB color
non map           (338MB)
Map-projected, reduced-resolution
Full resolution JP2 download
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RGB: red-green-blue
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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.