This image acquired on January 30, 2022 by NASAs Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows an odd-shaped hole in Noachis Terra, clearly an impact crater.

April 29, 2022

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This odd-shaped hole in Noachis Terra is clearly an impact crater. It has the characteristic raised rim that distinguishes it from pits that have simply collapsed. In contrast to most impact craters though, it isn't round.

What could have caused this odd shape? Sometimes craters can be elongated when the impact occurs at a very grazing angle, but that's not the case here as the rough ejecta blanket around the crater is mostly symmetric.

This HiRISE image may show the answer. Large blocks of material in the northeast and northwest corners look like they have slid into the crater. These collapses have extended the crater in those directions giving it an oblong appearance.

The map is projected here at a scale of 50 centimeters (19.7 inches) per pixel. (The original image scale is 54.1 centimeters [21.3 inches] per pixel [with 2 x 2 binning]; objects on the order of 162 centimeters [63.8 inches] across are resolved.) North is up.

This is a stereo pair with ESP_064445_1475.

The University of Arizona, in Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., in Boulder, Colorado. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington.


NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona


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