Small Crater Near Upper Reach of Mamers Valles
NASA/JPL/UArizona
Small Crater Near Upper Reach of Mamers Valles
PSP_010630_2115  Science Theme: 
This image was suggested by Mr. Dennis Mitchell's 8th grade NASA team, Evergreen Middle School, Cottonwood, Calif., as part of the HiRISE Quest Student Image Challenge.

They write: "Located near Mamers Valles, this image shows numerous fluvial features that indicate this area was once rich with water. The lineated valley fill suggests an ice-rich soil. (Of particular interest) is a small cone-like feature (located on the floor of a 2 kilometer diameter) impact crater in the center of the enlarged image.

"At first this resembles a cinder cone volcano on Earth. However, when magnified, it reveals a ... feature (found in Arctic regions) on Earth called a pingo. These are caused by ice protruding through the soil creating a positive-relief geologic feature. If you examine the smaller craters in the surrounding terrain you'll see a checkerboard pattern in each one. These closely resemble melted pingos on Earth, again suggesting an area of Mars that was once rich with water."

While the student's suggestion that the mound-like structure is a pingo is reasonable, there is yet no scientific consensus for the origin of these interesting structures.



Written by: Dennis Mitchell's class, Evergreen Middle School/Ginny Gulick  (10 June 2009)
 
Acquisition date
01 November 2008

Local Mars time
15:38

Latitude (centered)
31.203°

Longitude (East)
19.196°

Spacecraft altitude
290.3 km (180.4 miles)

Original image scale range
29.3 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~88 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

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Equirectangular

Emission angle
8.1°

Phase angle
45.7°

Solar incidence angle
54°, with the Sun about 36° above the horizon

Solar longitude
151.0°, Northern Summer

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North azimuth:  96°
Sub-solar azimuth:  356.2°
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POSTSCRIPT
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.