Newly formed, dramatic impact crater photographed on Mars

Feb. 5, 2014 at 5:53 PM
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PASADENA, Calif., Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Mars is hit by more than 200 space rocks every year but few have left as dramatic a crater as the one recently imaged by an orbiting spacecraft, NASA says.

The image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera on the agency's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter released Wednesday shows a crater about 100 feet in diameter at the center of a radial burst painting the surface with a pattern of bright and dark tones, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., reported.

The impact that excavated this crater threw some material as far as 9.3 miles, JPL said.

The scar on the Red Planet's surface appeared some time between imaging of this location by the orbiter's Context Camera in July 2010 and again in May 2012.

Researchers used the HiRISE instrument to acquire the recent image on Nov. 19, 2013

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project is managed by JPL for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

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