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A dramatic, fresh impact crater dominates this image taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Nov. 19, 2013
NASA Mars Orbiter Examines Dramatic New CraterFebruary 05, 2014Space rocks hitting Mars excavate fresh craters at a pace of more than 200 per year, but few new Mars scars pack as much visual punch as one seen in a NASA image released today.The image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a crater about 100 feet (30 meters) in diameter at the center of a radial burst painting the surface with a pattern of bright and dark tones. It is available online at http://uahirise.org/ESP_034285_1835 and http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA17932.The scar appeared at some time between imaging of this location by the orbiter's Context Camera in July 2010 and again in May 2012. Based on apparent changes between those before-and-after images at lower resolution, researchers used HiRISE to acquire this new image on Nov. 19, 2013. The impact that excavated this crater threw some material as far as 9.3 miles (15 kilometers).The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. HiRISE is operated by the University of Arizona, Tucson. The instrument was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, built and operates the Context Camera.For more information about the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been studying Mars from orbit since 2006, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mro .
The hole appears to be an opening to an underground cavern, partly illuminated on the image right. Analysis of this and follow-up images revealed the opening to be about 35 meters across, while the interior shadow angle indicates that the underlying cavern is roughly 20 meters deep. Why there is a circular crater surrounding this hole remains a topic of speculation, as is the full extent of the underlying cavern.
This "movie" of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, was taken by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft as it raced toward Pluto in July 2014. Covering almost one full rotation of Charon around Pluto, the 12 images that make up the movie were taken July 19-24 with the spacecraft’s best telescopic camera – the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) – at distances ranging from about 267 million to 262 million miles (429 million to 422 million kilometers).Charon is orbiting approximately 11,200 miles (about 18,000 kilometers) above Pluto's surface.Why the slight "wobble" of each body in the images? Pluto and Charon constitute a true binary planet — a more extreme example of the Earth-moon system. Because Charon is about 1/12th as massive as Pluto – the largest moon in the solar system relative to the planet it orbits - both Pluto and Charon orbit a gravity point (called a barycenter) between the pair. The movie's frames are centered on that point, showing the "barycentric wobble" of the system as Charon orbits.The National Academy of Sciences cited the binary nature of Pluto-Charon when ranking this mission highly for a new start in the early 2000s. Now, New Horizons is seeing the binary system beginning to emerge in its own cameras.
Collapse in Hebes Chasma on MarsImage Credit & Copyright: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)Explanation: What's happened in Hebes Chasma on Mars? Hebes Chasma is a depression just north of the enormous Valles Marineris canyon. Since the depression is unconnected to other surface features, it is unclear where the internal material went. Inside Hebes Chasma is Hebes Mensa, a 5 kilometer high mesa that appears to have undergone an unusual partial collapse -- a collapse that might be providing clues. The above image, taken by the robotic Mars Express spacecraft currently orbiting Mars, shows great details of the chasm and the unusual horseshoe shaped indentation in the central mesa. Material from the mesa appears to have flowed onto the floor of the chasm, while a possible dark layer appears to have pooled like ink on a downslope landing. A recent hypothesis holds that salty rock composes some lower layers in Hebes Chasma, with the salt dissolving in melted ice flows that drained through holes into an underground aquifer.
This animated sequence of Cassini images shows methane clouds moving above the large methane sea on Saturn's moon Titan known as Ligeia Mare.The spacecraft captured the views between July 20 and July 22, 2014, as it departed Titan following a flyby. Cassini tracked the system of clouds as it developed and dissipated over Ligeia Mare during this two-day period. Measurements of the cloud motions indicate wind speeds of around 7 to 10 miles per hour (3 to 4.5 meters per second).
Moon and Earth from Chang'e 5-T1Image Credit: Chinese National Space Administration, XinhuanetExplanation: Described at times as a big blue marble, from some vantage points Earth looks more like a small blue marble. Such was the case in this iconic image of the Earth and Moon system taken by the Chang'e 5-T1 mission last week. The Moon appears larger than the Earth because it was much closer to the spacecraft's camera. Displaying much of a surface usually hidden from Earth, the Moon appears dark and gray when compared to the more reflective and colorful planet that it orbits. The robotic Chang'e 5-T1 spacecraft, predominantly on an engineering test mission, rounded the Moon last Tuesday returned to Earth on Friday.