Fresh Mars Impact Crater Looks Like an Imperfect, Empty Bowl of Soup

Fresh impact crater in the Meridiani Planum region of Mars 10 photos
Photo: NASA/JPL/UArizona
Craters in Meridiani PlanumElevation of the Meridiani PlanumFresh impact crater in the Meridiani Planum region of MarsFeatures in Meridiani PlanumMeridiani PlanumMeridiani Planum in high resolutionMeridiani Planum’s central craterPerspective view of Meridiani PlanumPerspective view of Meridiani Planum
Mars is without a doubt one of the most fascinating rocks orbiting our Sun. It may not be as spectacular as say the gas giants, but given how it is humanity's next target for crewed missions, it occupies a special place in all of our hearts.
The most optimistic estimate is that humans will reach it by the end of this decade, but the reality is we’ll probably not meet that deadline. So until we have a chance to experience the place for ourselves, firsthand, we’ll have to settle for the info sent back by the numerous pieces of hardware presently deployed on the surface and in orbit.

A constant stream of images and info is being sent back by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and its HiRISE camera. Given how we’ve decided here on autoevolution to help you get to know Mars before we actually go there, we’ve featured some of the images sent back quite extensively over the past few months.

Today’s treat is an impact crater, one of the many that scar the surface of the deserted planet. It is shown in an image taken in March 2020 (and recently republished by NASA and the University of Arizona) by the HiRISE from an altitude of 269 km (167 miles).

The crater is described by scientists as a fairly fresh one in a geological sense, although no mention on what that might mean is made. Because of its relatively young age, its slopes are still very much in full view and deep, not eroded by the surface processes. It also looks like an empty and imperfect bowl of soup if you ask us.

The crater sits in the Meridiani Planum region of the planet, just south of the Equator, a place where scientists say something called gray crystalline hematite can be found, a possible sign of hot springs and liquid water being present there sometime in the planet’s past.

Meridiani Planum is the place where the Opportunity rover landed in 2004.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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