Breached Impact Crater in Memnonia
Breached Impact Crater in Memnonia
PSP_003359_1650  Science Theme: Other
PSP_003359_1650 shows the south rim of an impact crater in Memnonia, a crater breached by valleys on its north and south ends (not seen here) and has terraces. Terraces are different levels up and down a crater wall that appear stair-like. The valleys and terraces suggest that this crater might have had a lake at one point in its history.

This HiRISE image shows a heavily cratered surface. The crater floor (top of the scene) is covered in craters and dunes indicating that its surface has been exposed for a long period of time. The crater wall (approximately center) also has abundant craters. Many of the craters are very small and found in clusters (for an example, look just down and below the largest crater near the center of the image). These are likely secondary craters--craters that are formed by ejecta that are a result of a separate, larger impact event.

What is particularly interesting about these craters is that many of them are surrounded by bright material (see subimage, approximately 750 meters across; 3000 x 2500; 7 MB). When a crater forms, an object hits the surface and throws out a lot of underlying material. It is possible that the bright material around the craters represents material that was excavated during the impact events. The bright material looks raised around several of the craters, suggesting that it is cemented and therefore more resistant to erosion by wind. The material could be bright because of its particle sizes or composition.

Written by: Kelly Kolb  (27 June 2007)
Acquisition date
15 April 2007

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
260.3 km (161.8 miles)

Original image scale range
26.0 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~78 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
52°, with the Sun about 38° above the horizon

Solar longitude
219.4°, Northern Autumn

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  356.8°
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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.