'Happy face' crater on Mars

Apr 10, 2006
'Happy face' crater on Mars

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.

The HRSC obtained these images during orbits 445, 2383, 2438, 2460 and 2493 with a ground resolution ranging between 10-20 metres per pixel, depending on location within the image strip. The images show Crater Galle lying to the east of the Argyre Planitia impact basin and south west of the Wirtz and Helmholtz craters, at 51° South and 329° East.

The images of the 230 km diameter impact crater are mosaics created from five individual HRSC nadir and colour strips, each tens of kilometres wide.

A large stack of layered sediments forms an outcrop in the southern part of the crater. Several parallel gullies, possible evidence for liquid water on the Martian surface, originate at the inner crater walls of the southern rim.

Crater Galle, named after the German astronomer J.G. Galle (1812-1910), is informally known as the 'happy face' crater.

The 'face' was first pointed out in images taken during NASA's Viking Orbiter 1 mission.

Its interior shows a surface which is shaped by 'aeolian' (wind-caused) activity as seen in numerous dunes and dark dust devil tracks which removed the bright dusty surface coating.

The colour scenes, false-colour and near true-colour, have been derived from three HRSC colour and nadir channels gathered during five overlapping orbits. The perspective views have been calculated from a mosaic of digital terrain models derived from the stereo channels.

The black-and-white high-resolution image mosaic was derived from the nadir channel which provides the highest detail of all channels. The resolution has been decreased for use on the Internet, to around 50 m per pixel.

Source: ESA

Explore further: Asteroid named for University of Utah makes public debut

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Winter in the southern uplands of Mars

Sep 19, 2014

Over billions of years, the southern uplands of Mars have been pockmarked by numerous impact features, which are often so closely packed that they overlap. One such feature is Hooke crater, shown in this ...

Mars Curiosity Rover Arrives at Martian Mountain

Sep 11, 2014

(Phys.org) —NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has reached the Red Planet's Mount Sharp, a Mount-Rainier-size mountain at the center of the vast Gale Crater and the rover mission's long-term prime destination.

Mars deep down

Aug 19, 2014

Scarring the southern highlands of Mars is one of the Solar System's largest impact basins: Hellas, with a diameter of 2300 km and a depth of over 7 km.

NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft's 10 years in space

Aug 05, 2014

Ten years ago, on August 3, 2004, NASA's MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) spacecraft blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, for a risky mission that would take ...

Image: Messy peaks of Zucchius

Jul 21, 2014

Even to the naked eye, our Moon looks heavily cratered. The snippet of carved and pitted lunar surface shown in this image lies within a 66 km-wide crater known as Zucchius. From our perspective, Zucchius ...

Recommended for you

Getting to the root of the problem in space

6 hours ago

When we go to Mars, will astronauts be able to grow enough food there to maintain a healthy diet? Will they be able to produce food in NASA's Orion spacecraft on the year-long trip to Mars? How about growing ...

The difference between CMEs and solar flares

8 hours ago

This is a question we are often asked: what is the difference between a coronal mass ejection (CME) and a solar flare? We discussed it in a recent astrophoto post, but today NASA put out a video with amazing graphics that explain ...

Scientific instruments of Rosetta's Philae lander

8 hours ago

When traveling to far off lands, one packs carefully. What you carry must be comprehensive but not so much that it is a burden. And once you arrive, you must be prepared to do something extraordinary to make ...

Image: NGC 6872 in the constellation of Pavo

9 hours ago

This picture, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2), shows a galaxy known as NGC 6872 in the constellation of Pavo (The Peacock). Its unusual shape is caused ...

User comments : 0