02.08.2017 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Observes Changes
01.26.2017 Mono Lake
01.25.2017 'Wing' Dike of Hardened Lava in New Mexico
01.25.2017 Blade-Like Martian Walls Outline Polygons
01.23.2017 Spirit And Opportunity By The Numbers
01.10.2017 Mars 2020 Rover - Artist's Concept
01.06.2017 Earth and Its Moon, as Seen From Mars
12.13.2016 Now and Long Ago at Gale Crater, Mars
12.13.2016 Where's Boron? Mars Rover Detects It
11.15.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, Stereo
11.03.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, in Color
10.17.2016 MAVEN Captures Rapid Cloud Formation
10.17.2016 Mars' Nightside Atmosphere
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Image Near Mars' South Pole
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Mars Reveals Cloud Formation
10.05.2016 Dust Haze Hiding the Martian Surface in 2001
10.04.2016 Test of Lander Vision System for Mars 2020
10.03.2016 A Sharpened Ultraviolet View of Mars
10.03.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Murray Buttes'
10.03.2016 Butte 'M9a' in 'Murray Buttes' on Mars
09.19.2016 Ribbon Cutting
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 5)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 4)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 3)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 2)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 1)
08.26.2016 Out-of-this-World Records
08.04.2016 Mars Rover Is New Social Media Game
08.04.2016 Mars Rover Social Media Game
08.02.2016 Artist Concept for RIMFAX
07.20.2016 Viking 40 Year Anniversary Artwork: Medal
07.18.2016 Mars 2020 Range Trigger
07.14.2016 NASA to Launch Mars Rover in 2020
Fresh Cluster of Impact Craters on MarsThis set of images from cameras on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter documents the appearance of a new cluster of impact craters on Mars. The orbiter has imaged at least 248 fresh craters, or crater clusters, on Mars.
The two upper images are from the orbiter's Context Camera (CTX). The upper-right image, taken on May 24, 2011, shows a dark patch at the center that is not present in the upper-left image, taken Aug. 15, 2010. The scale bar on each of these two images is 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles). The location on Mars is 4.472 degrees north latitude, 246.893 degrees east longitude. Due to the dust blanketing the ground in this region, impacts produce a dark-looking blast zone where the dust is disturbed.
Researchers investigated the new dark spot with the orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, obtaining the lower image showing a cluster of small, fresh craters. The scale bar on this image is 100 meters (328 feet).
This set of images is from in a paper in the journal Icarus in which researchers report an estimated crater-forming rate of about 200 impacts per year on Mars producing craters at least 12.8 feet (3.9 meters) in diameter. More than half of the impacts in this size range result in clusters rather than single craters. Small asteroids and fragments of comets that would be too small to get through Earth's atmosphere can excavate craters on Mars because Mars has much less atmosphere than Earth.
Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, built and operates CTX. The University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the orbiter.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Univ. of Arizona