This non-circular pit seen in this image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is due to a low angle impact from an asteroid or comet. The raised plateau west of the crater was where most of the impact debris landed.
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Martian Thunderbird

This non-circular pit is due to a low angle impact from an asteroid or comet. The raised plateau west of the crater was where most of the impact debris landed.

This debris protected the material underneath, but else where this material was slowly removed by the wind and the debris-covered area was left behind as this high-standing and interestingly-shaped plateau.

(Note: the wallpaper images have been rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise for better effect).

HiRISE is one of six instruments on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates the orbiter's HiRISE camera, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

Image details

ID#:
PIA17626

Date added:
2013-10-30

Target:
Mars

Mission:
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

Spacecraft:
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

Instruments:
High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE)

Rating:



Views:
732

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA17626.tif (5.19 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA17626.jpg (1.13 MB)

Image credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona