Impact craters as windows to what lies below

Impact craters are common on all bodies in the solar system. They offer many clues to scientists concerning the geological history of a planetary surface, in particular concerning its age, its evolution over time and its composition.

For example, this image covers an impact crater on the southeast flank of Ascraeus Mons, a remarkable volcano on the Tharsis plateau. Based on the original scientific rationale for acquiring this image, by obtaining more information about its depth and therefore the stability of the crater wall, we can learn more about the nature of the materials of the flanks of the volcano.

Also, by carefully studying the materials exposed in the crater walls, we can get more information about the subsoil.

The map is here projected at a scale of 50 centimeters (19.7 inches) per pixel. (The scale of the original image is 55.1 centimeters [21.7 inches] per pixel [with 2 x 2 binning]; objects of the order of 165 centimeters [65.0 inches] across are resolved.) North is up.

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

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