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Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

New Impact Crater Formed Between April 2001 and December 2003

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1617, 6 December 2006

(A) MOC2-1617-a
Colorized view of fresh impact site; small dark crater surrounded by dark rays and  secondary impacts; one set of rays is longer than the other an points toward the northwest.
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(B) MOC2-1617-b
Large grayscale view of the impact site.
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(C) MOC2-1617-c
Two images, side by side, both are sub-frames of MOC red wide angle camera views of the impact site (before: 2 April 2001; after: 11 December 2003).
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NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

These Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) images show a young impact crater that formed in Arabia Terra near 22.2°N, 345.5°W, some time between 2 April 2001 and 11 December 2003.

(A) and (B) The first two pictures (top) are sub-frames of MOC image S16-01199, acquired on 13 March 2006. The first image has been colorized using a look-up table derived from color data acquired by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE). The site features a crater about 24.0 ± 3.0 meters (about 79 feet) across. In other words, one can compare a 100 yard U.S. style football field with this 26 yards wide crater. The “blast zone” around the crater is much larger and includes combination of rays and chains of small secondary impacts.

(C) The last picture (bottom) shows how the timing of the impact event was constrained. The first picture is a sub-frame of MOC red wide angle image E03-00127, obtained on 2 April 2001. The white circle indicates the impact site. The second picture, obtained after the impact occurred, is MOC red wide angle camera image R12-01350, acquired on 11 December 2003.

Accompanying captioned releases and other material regarding present-day impact cratering on Mars:

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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.