Impact Craters as Windows to What Lies Beneath
Impact craters are common on all solar system bodies. They offer many clues to scientists regarding the geologic history of a planetary surface, particularly regarding its age, evolution with time, and composition.
For instance, this image covers an impact crater on the southeastern flank of Ascraeus Mons, a notable volcano in the Tharsis Plateau. Based on the original science rationale for acquiring this image, by gaining more information about its depth and consequently the stability of the crater wall, we can learn more about the nature of the volcano's flank materials.
Also, by carefully studying the materials exposed in the crater walls, we can gain more information about the subsurface.
The map is projected here at a scale of 50 centimeters (19.7 inches) per pixel. (The original image scale is 55.1 centimeters [21.7 inches] per pixel [with 2 x 2 binning]; objects on the order of 165 centimeters [65.0 inches] across are resolved.) North is up.
The University of Arizona, in Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., in Boulder, Colorado. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington.