Asymmetric Crater

Scaled Image

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/ASU

About this image

Asymmetric craters such as the one in the center of this image are fairly rare. The more typical symmetric craters are formed when meteors impact a surface over a wide range of angles. Only very low impact angles (within 15deg of horizontal) result in asymmetric structures such as this one. The bilateral symmetry of the ejecta, like two wings on either side of the elliptical crater, is typical of oblique impacts. The small crater down range from the main crater could have been caused by the impactor breaking apart before impact or possibly a 'decapitation' of the impactor as it hit with the 'head' traveling farther to form the smaller structure.

Please see the THEMIS Data Citation Note for details on crediting THEMIS images. 


Image ID: 
V08444002 (View data in Mars Image Explorer)
2003-11-09 08:04
Thu, 2003-12-18
1024 pixels (17 km)
3648 pixels (63 km)
0.017435 km/pixel
0.017562 km/pixel


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