NASA Shows Us the Anus of Mars

New Mars Impact crater, photographed by MRO 1 photo
Photo: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) is one of the most active spacecraft currently orbiting Mars. From its vantage point 255 km above the planet (158 miles), the satellite sent back several stunning images of the neighboring planet in recent years, but few compare to the one that surfaced this month.
The orbiter is fitted with several observation tools, including one called High-Resolution Imaging Experiment, or HiRISE. This camera is the one responsible for taking the image you see above.

So, what is it?

The image shows an impact crater in the Valles Marineris region, caused by a relatively small piece of space rock. The crater is estimated to be extremely small, being only 5 feet (1.5 m) wide, which means it is a miracle the orbiter was able to capture it.

According to the University of Arizona, who built the HiRISE instrument, the crater is extremely young, being formed during an impact that occurred between September 2016 and February 2019.

The impact exposed the darker material of the planet hidden right under the iconic reddish dust, and there’s also a hint of blue whose origin was not explained by the scientists – some argue it could be exposed ice.

The image was first published at the beginning of the month, but it only now gains traction online.

Predictably, most of those commenting on the photo associate the image of the crater with that of an anus. And who can blame them? After all, this is not exactly the image one associates with an impact crater.

"It is a reminder of what's out there," said in a statement for Veronica Bray, a scientist with the University of Arizona. "It's a gorgeous [crater]. I'm glad I got it in the color strip,"

On its part, the University of Arizona compared the crater not with what naturally comes to mind, but with an impressionist painting.
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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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