A New Impact Site in the Southern Middle Latitudes

Over 500 new impact events have been detected from before-and-after images, mostly from MRO’s Context Camera, with a HiRISE followup. Those new craters that expose shallow ice are of special interest, especially at latitudes where not previously detected, to better map the ice distribution.

We hope to find ice at relatively low latitudes both for understanding recent climate change and as a resource for possible future humans on Mars. This new impact, which occurred between August and December 2016 (at 42.5 degree South latitude) would provide an important constraint if ice was detected.

Alas, the HiRISE color image does not indicate that ice is exposed. There is an elongated cluster of new craters (or just dark spots where the craters are too small to resolve), due to an oblique impact in which the bolide fragmented in the Martian atmosphere.

Written by: Alfred McEwen (audio: Tre Gibbs)  (5 April 2017)

More info and image formats at http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/ESP_049061_1370

Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona