The bright material conspicuous in this image was excavated from below the surface and deposited nearby by a 2008 impact that dug a crater about 8 meters (26 feet) in diameter. The extent of the bright patch was large enough for the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars, an instrument on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, to obtain information confirming the material to be water ice.
This image, covering an area 50 meters (164 feet) across, was taken on Nov. 1, 2008, by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment on the same orbiter. The time frame for the crater-forming impact to have occurred was bracketed by before-and-after images (not shown) taken by the Thermal Emission Imaging System camera aboard NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter on Jan. 26, 2008, and by the Context Camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Sept. 18, 2008.
The crater is at 55.57 degrees north latitude, 150.62 degrees east longitude. This image is a subframe of a full-frame image that is available online at http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/PSP_010625_2360.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
Full Res Image