NASA / JPL / MSSS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / JPL / MSSS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Martian impact crater, satellite image. This is a recent crater, which formed some time between April 2001 and December 2003. Such craters form when a meteoroid from space impacts a planetary surface. The central crater (dark black spot) is about 24 metres across. A much larger blast area around the crater is covered with grey material ejected from the ground by the impact. Mars has a thin atmosphere, so most meteroids reach the surface and create a crater. On Earth, most meteoroids burn up in the atmosphere before they reach the surface. This impact crater is in the Arabia Terra region of Mars. This image was obtained in December 2003 by the Mars Orbiter Camera on the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft.
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