Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Impact Crater in Northern Elysium Planitia

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-161, 19 July 1999


920 KByte gif -- 235 KByte gif


This crater in northern Elysium Planitia is a little more than twice the diameter of the famous Meteor Crater in Arizona, U.S.A. It formed by the blast caused by the high velocity impact of a meteorite. The ejecta--the material blown out of the crater and deposited around the outside of the hole--appears to be somewhat thicker than most martian ejecta deposits. The ejecta shows radial grooves and the surface of the deposit appears cracked and broken. These features, taken together, suggest that the ejecta might have contained some amount of water--as well as rocky debris--and that this material was viscous (e.g., "like molasses in January") and flowed outward, away from the impact explosion when it occurred. The Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera obtained this picture in July 1998. Illumination is from the right/upper right.


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, CA. 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, CA and Denver, CO.

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