Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hadley Crater provides deep insight into Martian geology

Date:
September 6, 2012
Source:
European Space Agency
Summary:
Recently engaged in providing support to the successful landing of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover, ESA's Mars Express has now returned to its primary mission of studying the diverse geology and atmosphere of the 'Red Planet' from orbit. Earlier this year, the spacecraft observed the 120 km wide Hadley Crater, providing a tantalizing insight into the martian crust. The images show multiple subsequent impacts within the main crater wall, reaching depths of up to 2600 m below the surrounding surface.

High-Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) nadir and colour channel data taken during revolution 10572 on 9 April 2012 by ESA’s Mars Express have been combined to form a natural-colour view of Hadley Crater. Centred at around 19°S and 157°E, the image has a ground resolution of about 19 m per pixel. The image shows the main 120 km wide crater, with subsequent impacts at later epochs within it. Evidence of these subsequent impacts occurring over large timescales is shown by some of the craters being buried.
Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)

Recently engaged in providing support to the successful landing of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover, ESA's Mars Express has now returned to its primary mission of studying the diverse geology and atmosphere of the 'Red Planet' from orbit.

Earlier this year, the spacecraft observed the 120 km wide Hadley Crater, providing a tantalising insight into the martian crust. The images show multiple subsequent impacts within the main crater wall, reaching depths of up to 2600 m below the surrounding surface.

This region imaged on 9 April 2012 by the High Resolution Stereo Camera on Mars Express shows the crater which lies to the west of the Al-Qahira Vallis in the transition zone between the old southern highlands and the younger northern lowlands.

Hadley is named after the British lawyer and meteorologist George Hadley (1685-1768) whose name was also given to the 'Hadley cell', a circulation system in Earth's atmosphere, which transports heat and moisture from the tropics up to higher latitudes.

The images show that Hadley Crater was struck multiple times by large asteroids and/or comets after its initial formation and subsequent infilling with lava and sediments.

Some of these later impacts have also been partly buried, with subtle hints of a number of crater rims to the west (top), and wrinkle ridges to the north (right side) of the main crater floor as shown in the first image at the top of the page.

Again, in the first image (top of the page), the southern (left) side, the crater appears shallower than the opposite side. This difference can be explained by an erosion process known as mass wasting. This is where surface material moves down a slope under the force of gravity.

Mass wasting can be initially started by a range of processes including earthquakes, erosion at the base of the slope, ice splitting the rocks or water being introduced into the slope material, In this case there is no clear indication which process caused it, or over what timescales this may have occurred.

Of particular interest to scientists studying the geology of Mars are the ejecta of the smaller craters within Hadley. Two of them, one to the west (top), and the deepest one in the middle of the first image, show evidence for volatiles, possibly water ice beneath the surface.

With the impact that forms the craters, this ice would mix with surrounding materials to form a kind of 'mud', which would then spread over the surface as ejecta.

Scientists believe these volatiles which were excavated by the impacts, may indicate the presence of ice to a depth of around hundreds of metres, this being the difference in depth between the surface and the depths of the two craters. This deep view into the martian crust within the walls of Hadley Crater provides scientists an insight into the history of Mars. A history which rovers like those currently on the Red Planet and others which follow will doubtless continue to investigate.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Space Agency. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Space Agency. "Hadley Crater provides deep insight into Martian geology." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120906191453.htm>.
European Space Agency. (2012, September 6). Hadley Crater provides deep insight into Martian geology. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120906191453.htm
European Space Agency. "Hadley Crater provides deep insight into Martian geology." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120906191453.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Comet Siding Spring Grazes Mars' Atmosphere

Comet Siding Spring Grazes Mars' Atmosphere

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) — A comet from the farthest reaches of the solar system passed extremely close to Mars this weekend, giving astronomers a rare opportunity to study it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Latin America Launches Communications Satellite

Latin America Launches Communications Satellite

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) — Argentina launches a home-built satellite, a first for Latin America. It will ride a French-made Ariane 5 rocket into orbit, and will provide cell phone, digital TV, Internet and data services to the lower half of South America. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Week @ NASA, October 17, 2014

This Week @ NASA, October 17, 2014

NASA (Oct. 17, 2014) — Power spacewalk, MAVEN’s “First Light”, Hubble finds extremely distant galaxy and more... Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
Saturn's 'Death Star' Moon Might Have A Hidden Ocean

Saturn's 'Death Star' Moon Might Have A Hidden Ocean

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) — The smallest of Saturn's main moons, Mimas, wobbles as it orbits. Research reveals it might be due to a global ocean underneath its icy surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins