The ejecta blanket of the crater in this image from NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft does not resemble the blocky, discontinuous ejecta associated with most fresh craters on Mars.


The ejecta blanket of this crater does not resemble the blocky, discontinuous ejecta associated with most fresh craters on Mars. Rather, the continuous lobes of material seen around this crater are evidence that the crater ejecta were fluidized upon impact of the meteor that formed this crater. Impact ejecta become fluidized when a meteor strikes a surface that has a considerable volatile content. The volatiles mixed with the ejecta form a flow of material that moves outward from the crater and produces the morphology seen in this THEMIS visible image.

Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

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