Rim of a Crater on Mars

ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter took this image of the southeast wall of a little crater located a couple of hundred kilometers to the north of the huge Hellas impact basin on Mars on October 19,2020 Credit: ESA/Roscosmos/CaSSIS, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

This image features the southeast wall of a little crater found a couple of hundred kilometers to the north of the giant Hellas impact basin on Mars The complete crater itself has to do with 12 km in diameter; this image shows a 5 x 10 km location.

The Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) onboard the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter took the image on October 19, 2020.

When viewed with CaSSIS’ color filters, the image shows remarkable diversity in color. This variety is associated with the presence of different minerals that show light differently at different wavelengths. The light-toned deposits highlight the bedrock direct exposures of the location, which probably contain ancient clay-rich minerals that would have formed in the presence of water. Noticeable are wind-blown sandy deposits that form ripples on the floor of the crater. Their distinct tan color suggests that they consist of iron-oxide minerals.

The ExoMars program is a joint venture in between ESA and Roscosmos.

The image was featured by Science Advances online in February 2021.

Referral: “Short-term HCl in the environment of Mars” by Oleg Korablev, Kevin S. Olsen, Alexander Trokhimovskiy, Franck Lefèvre, Franck Montmessin, Anna A. Fedorova, Michael J. Toplis, Juan Alday, Denis A. Belyaev, Andrey Patrakeev, Nikolay I. Ignatiev, Alexey V. Shakun, Alexey V. Grigoriev, Lucio Baggio, Irbah Abdenour, Gaetan Lacombe, Yury S. Ivanov, Shohei Aoki, Ian R. Thomas, Frank Daerden, Bojan Ristic, Justin T. Erwin, Manish Patel, Giancarlo Bellucci, Jose-Juan Lopez-Moreno and Ann C. Vandaele, 10 February 2021, Science Advances
DOI: 10.1126/ sciadv.abe4386


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