Channels from Mars Hale Crater

October 28, 2009
This image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows channels to the southeast of Hale crater on southern Mars. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

(PhysOrg.com) -- This image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows channels to the southeast of Hale crater on southern Mars. Taken by the orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, this view covers an area about 3 kilometers (2 miles) wide.

Channels associated with impact craters were once thought to be quite rare. Scientists proposed a variety of unusual circumstances to explain them, such as impacts by comets or precipitation caused by the impact event. As more of Mars is photographed with high-resolution imagery, more craters surrounded by systems are being discovered.

The channels in this HiRISE image are from Hale crater, an exceptionally well-preserved, 125-by-150-kilometer (78-by-93-mile) impact crater located on the northern rim of Mars' Argyre basin. Hale crater is roughly 170 kilometers (100 miles) to the southeast of the site seen here. The channels in this image are up to about 250 meters (820 feet) across, though most are much smaller. The channels appear to emanate directly from material ejected from Hale. They were likely formed by the impact event. The heat of the impact could have melted large amounts of subsurface ice and generated surface runoff capable of carving the channels.

If a significant amount of water was released or mobilized by the Hale crater impact, larger impacts that formed during the early days of the Solar System may have been able to bring even more water to the surface of . If this is true, a long-term, stable, warm and wet climate may not be required to explain the presence of such channels in the ancient Martian landscapes.

This view is a portion of a HiRISE observation taken on Oct. 7, 2007, at 32.6 degrees south latitude and 320.5 degrees east longitude. The full-frame image is available at hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/PSP_005609_1470 .

Provided by JPL/NASA (news : web)

Explore further: HiRISE Camera Shows Mojave Crater Peak is High and Dry

Related Stories

MRO Sees Rover from Orbit

October 6, 2006

With stunningly powerful vision, the HiRISE camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has taken a remarkable picture that shows the exploration rover Opportunity poised on the rim of Victoria crater on Mars.

Martian Polar Layer Erosion Looks Striking

October 16, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- An odd, solitary hill rising part-way down an eroding slope in Mars' north polar layered terrain may be the remnant of a buried impact crater, suggests a University of Arizona planetary scientist who studied ...

Layered Crater on Mars

July 18, 2007

This image covers an impact crater roughly 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) in diameter. The subimage shows just a small segment of the crater rim (1336 x 889; 3 MB).

'Happy face' crater on Mars

April 10, 2006

These images, taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, show the Galle Crater, an impact crater located on the eastern rim of the Argyre Planitia impact basin on Mars.

Recommended for you

Hubble catches a transformation in the Virgo constellation

December 9, 2016

The constellation of Virgo (The Virgin) is especially rich in galaxies, due in part to the presence of a massive and gravitationally-bound collection of over 1300 galaxies called the Virgo Cluster. One particular member of ...

Khatyrka meteorite found to have third quasicrystal

December 9, 2016

(Phys.org)—A small team of researchers from the U.S. and Italy has found evidence of a naturally formed quasicrystal in a sample obtained from the Khatyrka meteorite. In their paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, ...

Scientists sweep stodgy stature from Saturn's C ring

December 9, 2016

As a cosmic dust magnet, Saturn's C ring gives away its youth. Once thought formed in an older, primordial era, the ring may be but a mere babe – less than 100 million years old, according to Cornell-led astronomers in ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

deatopmg
not rated yet Oct 29, 2009
Great picture at the hirise site! Why is the Hale crater so important? Instead of a just a jpeg why not also release the RAW image data AS RECEIVED?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.