NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) picture shows a young, fresh meteor impact crater in southeast Arabia Terra acquired in August 2003. The crater is inferred to be young because it still has a finely-detailed pattern of rays associated with its ejecta. These rays formed in a dusty mantle that covers the other craters and rocky terrain at this locale. The crater is young enough that there has not been sufficient time for new dust to cover the rays, or for winds to erase them. The small dark dots associated with the crater are boulders. The boulders were ejected by the impact event. This crater is located near 6.9°S, 317.1°W. The picture covers an area approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) wide and is illuminated by sunlight from the lower 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.