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University of Arizona camera sees dramatic impact crater on Mars

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Source: NASA/UA HiRISE Source: NASA/UA HiRISE
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The University of Arizona's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured images of a new impact crater on the Red Planet.  

The below image was taken by HiRISE on November 19, 2013.  

Looking back at images taken the year before, scientists determined the impact crater appeared sometime after May 2012.  

The crater, which is about 100 feet across, was created when a meteor crashed into the Red Planet.

NASA says "because the terrain where the crater formed is dusty, the fresh crater appears blue in the enhanced color of the image, due to removal of the reddish dust in that area. Debris tossed outward during the formation of the crater is called ejecta. In examining ejecta's distribution, scientists can learn more about the impact event. The explosion that excavated this crater threw ejecta as far as 9.3 miles."

New impact craters are not uncommon on Mars.

NASA estimates craters at least 12.8 feet across occur at a "rate exceeding 200 per year globally."

However, scientists are interested in this crater because "few of the scars are as dramatic in appearance as this one" says NASA.

This image is one product from the HiRISE observation catalogued as ESP_034285_1835.

Other products from the same observation are available at http://uahirise.org/ESP_034285_1835.


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