NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a fresh, young meteor impact crater on the martian surface. It is less than 400 meters (less than 400 yards) across. While there is no way to know the exact age of this or any other martian surface feature, the rays are very well preserved. On a planet where wind can modify surface features at the present time, a crater with rayed ejecta patterns must be very young indeed. Despite its apparent youth, the crater could still be many hundreds of thousands, if not several million, of years old. This impact scar is located within the much larger Crommelin Crater, near 5.6°N, 10.0°W. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the left.
Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, California. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena, California and Denver, Colorado.