vendredi 7 avril 2017

A Sneak Peek into Saheki's Secret Layers & A New Impact Site in the Southern Middle Latitudes












NASA - Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) logo.

April 7, 2017

A Sneak Peek into Saheki's Secret Layers


This image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is of Saheki Crater, about 84 kilometers across, and located in the Southern highlands of Mars, to the north of Hellas Planitia. It's filled with beautiful alluvial fans that formed when water (likely melting snow) carried fine material, such as sand, silt and mud, from the interior crater rim down to the bottom of the crater.

Two smaller craters impacted into the alluvial fan surface in Saheki, excavating holes that allow us to see what the fans look like beneath the surface. Exposed along the crater's interior walls, we can see that the fan is made up of multiple individual layers (white and purple tones in the enhanced color image) that were deposited on the floor (the green and brown tones). The brown, circular shapes on the fan layers are small impact craters.

This is a stereo pair with http://www.uahirise.org/ESP_049528_1585

The map is projected here at a scale of 25 centimeters (9.8 inches) per pixel. [The original image scale is 26.2 centimeters (10.3 inches) per pixel (with 1 x 1 binning); objects on the order of 78 centimeters (30.7 inches) across are resolved.] North is up.

A New Impact Site in the Southern Middle Latitudes


Over 500 new impact events have been detected from before-and-after images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, mostly from MRO's Context Camera, with a HiRISE followup. Those new craters that expose shallow ice are of special interest, especially at latitudes where not previously detected, to better map the ice distribution.

We hope to find ice at relatively low latitudes both for understanding recent climate change and as a resource for possible future humans on Mars. This new impact, which occurred between August and December 2016 (at 42.5 degree South latitude) would provide an important constraint if ice was detected.

Alas, the HiRISE color image does not indicate that ice is exposed. There is an elongated cluster of new craters (or just dark spots where the craters are too small to resolve), due to an oblique impact in which the bolide fragmented in the Martian atmosphere.

The map is projected here at a scale of 25 centimeters (9.8 inches) per pixel. [The original image scale is 25.1 centimeters (9.9 inches) per pixel (with 1 x 1 binning); objects on the order of 75 centimeters (29.5 inches) across are resolved.] North is up.

The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO): http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/MRO/main/index.html

Images, Text, Credits: NASA/Tony Greicius/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona.

Greetings, Orbiter.ch

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