A New Impact Site

This observation shows a cluster of impact craters that formed between August 2005 and November 2010, first discovered in a Context Camera (CTX) image G05_020035_1699_XN_10S064W_101104.

What’s unusual about this site is that it isn’t as dusty as most places where new impacts are discovered. Often the airblast disturbs the dust to create a dark spot much larger than the crater and its ejecta, so the new impacts are most easily discovered over dusty terrains.

The dark ejecta is obvious while the larger dark spot here is subtle, but detectable in the CTX image. There is a tight cluster of craters rather than a single crater because rocky bolides often break up in the Martian atmosphere.

Written by: Alfred McEwen (audio by Tre Gibbs)   (7 November 2012)

More info and image formats at http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/ESP_029015_1705

Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona