Friday, May 06, 2011

NASA's MRO Finds New Craters

In 2010, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's low resolution B&W camera (called the Context-Camera) saw a dark patch that hadn’t been there two years before. The MRO was told to train it's high resolution (HiRISE) camera on the area and found a cluster of four brand new impact craters.
From the Wired Science blog:
  • The telephoto image revealed four distinct craters, each ringed with a dark blanket where soil was blasted out in the impact. The crater quartet could have been formed by a single meteorite that broke apart on its way through Mars’ atmosphere.
The MRO finished it main objectives in 2008. NASA extended its lifetime twice. In that time, MRO has transmitted more data to Earth -- 131 trillion bits and more than 70,000 images so far -- than all other interplanetary missions combined.

Wired Science article

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