These images from the Context Camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter were taken before and after an apparent impact scar appeared in the area in March 2012. Comparing the images confirms that fresh craters appeared during the interval.
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Before-and-After Views Confirm Fresh Craters

These images from the Context Camera (CTX) on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter were taken before (left) and after (right) an apparent impact scar appeared in the area in March 2012 and was detected in images from the orbiter's Mars Color Imager (MARCI). Comparing the Jan. 16, 2012, image on the left with the April 6, 2014, image on the right confirms that two adjacent fresh craters appeared during that interval.

Each of these two images covers an area about 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) across. The craters are within the inscribed rectangle of the "after" image. The larger of the two craters is 159 feet (48.5 meters) wide, making it the biggest fresh crater ever clearly confirmed with before-and-after images, on Mars or anywhere else. Follow-up observations with the same orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera (see http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA18382.

Many of the approximately 400 fresh impact craters on Mars that have been confirmed with before-and-after images were first seen as dark scars detected in CTX images and then confirmed to have craters within the scars when follow-up observations were made with the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera. This impact is the only one, so far, big enough for the scar to be first detected in MARCI images (see http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA18381), with follow-up confirmation of a crater by CTX.

CTX is one of six instruments on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The camera was built by and is operated by Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

Image details

ID#:
PIA18383

Date added:
2014-05-22

Target:
Mars

Mission:
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

Spacecraft:
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

Instruments:
Context Camera (CTX)

Rating:



Views:
1,076

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA18383.tif (1.05 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA18383.jpg (0.15 MB)

Image credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS