NASA spacecraft spots spectacular new crater on the surface of Mars

Rodiano Bonacci
Giugno 19, 2019

The Red Planet was hit by an asteroid sometime within the past three years and the resulting crater has exposed a "darker material" underneath Mars' reddish dust that is now perplexing scientists.

The image, taken by the orbiter's onboard high resolution camera equipment 255 km above the planet in the Valles Marineris, near Mars' equator, was taken in April, and posted on the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) website earlier this month.

The crater, believed to have been formed in the last three years or so, is the second peculiar discovery on Mars in a week's time, and follows reports about a Martian land formation which looks suspiciously similar to the Starfleet logo from Star Trek. The remarkable thing about this particular crater is that it is one of the larger craters that has been seen on the surface of Mars.

Researchers suspect that the asteroid was no more than 5 feet wide and likely would've broken up had it entered Earth's atmosphere. Researchers say the "black-and-blue" Mars crater could have formed between September 2016 and February 2019. The space rock might have had a more solid shape as well, because other rocks that crash into Mars' atmosphere could break apart high in the air, generate streams of craters, and cause scattered pieces to fall to the Red Planet's surface.

"It is a reminder of what's out there", Bray told Space.com. "I'm glad I got it in the color strip". The impact wave, a dark zone where dust has moved away from the Red Planet's reddish surface, is also shown in the picture. On June 12, he shared a GIF on Twitter that showed crater "before" and "after" photos from CTX. He likes to create height maps to show Mars' geological diversity, including craters and dust devils. "I'd never seen anything like that".

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