A Fresh Impact Crater with an Odd Shape
A Fresh Impact Crater with an Odd Shape
ESP_072715_1475  Science Theme: Impact Processes
This odd-shaped hole in Noachis Terra is clearly in impact crater. It has the characteristic raised rim that distinguishes it from pits that have simply collapsed. In contrast to most impact craters though, it isn't round.

What could have caused this odd shape? Sometimes craters can be elongated when the impact occurs at a very grazing angle, but that's not the case here as the rough ejecta blanket around the crater is mostly symmetric.

This HiRISE image may show the answer. Large blocks of material in the northeast and northwest corners look like they have slid into the crater. These collapses have extended the crater in those directions giving it an oblong appearance.

Written by: Shane Byrne  (18 April 2022)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_064445_1475.
Acquisition date
30 January 2022

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
254.2 km (158.0 miles)

Original image scale range
54.1 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~162 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
66°, with the Sun about 24° above the horizon

Solar longitude
166.1°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  96°
Sub-solar azimuth:  31.5°
Black and white
map projected  non-map

IRB color
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Merged IRB
map projected

Merged RGB
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RGB color
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Black and white
map-projected   (180MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (100MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (72MB)
non-map           (113MB)

IRB color
map projected  (24MB)
non-map           (91MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (184MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (167MB)

RGB color
non map           (86MB)
Map-projected, reduced-resolution
Full resolution JP2 download
Anaglyph details page

10K (TIFF)

B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products

IRB: infrared-red-blue
RGB: red-green-blue
About color products (PDF)

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.