Action Shot

Fresh ejecta blanket of an unnamed 1 km diameter crater. Image number M154813223R, incidence angle 13°, image is 750 meters across [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

This small crater displays a beautiful ejecta pattern resembling a starburst. Looking at this image you can almost imagine the shower of ejecta falling to the ground. The pattern formed out of high and low reflectance areas is due to the freshness of the ejecta. Notice in the second image that as you move away from the center of the crater, the overall reflectance of the ejecta gets lower (darker). This is because the ejecta is less continuous as you get further away from the crater.  

Same NAC frame but with a larger view to show context. Notice the bouldery center of this fresh crater and the two low albedo spots that represent secondary impacts. This image is 2.2 km across [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

There are two low reflectance (darker) spots in the ejecta, one just south of the main crater and another just west of it. If you look closely, these spots are actually small craters with their own ejecta, probably secondaries from the primary impact. They excavated material from beneath the ejecta blanket and that material has a lower albedo compared to the ejecta. 

Explore the entire NAC Frame!

Related Images:

Splendors of Mare Smythii

Ejecta sweeps the surface

Delicate patterns in Giordano Bruno ejecta


Posted by Sarah Braden on April 21, 2011 09:00.