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If a meteorite breaks in two shortly before hitting the ground, the typical bowl shape of a single impact crater becomes doubled.
12.08.2010

Mars Odyssey All Stars: Dual Crater

If a meteorite breaks in two shortly before hitting the ground, the typical bowl shape of a single impact crater becomes doubled. The two circular blast regions intersect, creating a straight wall separating the two craters. At the same time, "wings" of ejected debris shoot out to the side. The image covers an area 13 kilometers (8 miles) wide.

This picture was taken in May 2005 by the Thermal Emission Imaging System instrument on NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter and posted in a special December 2010 set marking the occasion of Odyssey becoming the longest-working Mars spacecraft in history.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

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