Small Mid-Latitude Crater

This image shows a small impact crater, about 400 meters (440 yards) wide. This crater is in the Southern mid-latitudes, at about 55 degrees south.

On Mars, fresh-looking craters are rare in the middle and high latitudes. Asteroids hit the surface there just as often as at the equator, but the craters are buried by frost and dust, or re-worked by ground ice expanding and contracting as it warms up and cools off each year.

Although this crater looks fresh, it is already showing signs that it is being filled in and eroded . Eventually, all that will be left is a shallow circular pit and perhaps a ring of boulders where the rim and ejecta used to be.

Written by: Colin Dundas (audio by Tre Gibbs)   (27 March 2013)

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Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona