This image acquired on October 21, 2023 by NASAs Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a relatively large (280-meter diameter) circular structure that is most likely a relaxed impact crater.

January 31, 2024

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We call the convoluted flow textures seen in the middle latitudes "brain terrain" because it resembles the cerebral cortex of human brains.

There are very few well-defined impact craters on this terrain, indicating that some process is geologically recent. But here we see a relatively large (280-meter diameter) circular structure that is most likely a relaxed impact crater. Both the brain terrain and the relaxed crater are consistent with ice-rich ground.

This crater appears to be superimposed over and is younger than the brain terrain, or maybe it is older and its presence inhibited later formation of brain terrain. This kind of ambiguity makes it difficult to place age constraints on geologic activity using the statistics of impact craters.

The map is projected here at a scale of 50 centimeters (19.7 inches) per pixel. (The original image scale is 60.0 centimeters [23.6 inches] per pixel [with 2 x 2 binning]; objects on the order of 180 centimeters [70.9 inches] across are resolved.) North is up.

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.

Credits

NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

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