Wednesday, February 24, 2010
3D model of Mojave Crater, Mars
This image is a rendering of a 3D model of the Mojave Crater on Mars. The image was crafted from stereo images acquired by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and spans about 4km. This is just a small portion of the crater's edge, since the crater itself is 60km across. This image also has its vertial relief enhanced 3x over that in the horizontal direction. Note that this part of the crater appears filled in, like a pond. This ponding is thought to occur when melt generated by an impact is captured behind mountainous walls. The dearth of additional smaller craters tells us this feature is relatively young for Mars, only 10 million years old. Note also the flows into and out of this region. They suggest that the impact event might have melted underground ice that also flooded this region.