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NASA Captures Stunning New Impact Crater On Mars.

Mars has a stunning new impact crater, and NASA has released a photo of it.

Scientists involved in the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) said the newly discovered crater, which was spotted by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), had been created between July and September last year. The powerful HiRISE camera is one of six instruments on the MRO and is managed by the University of Arizona.

HiRISE released an (https://twitter.com/HiRISE/status/1088104739122819072?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.foxnews.com%2Ftech%2Fmars-blast-stunning-new-impact-crater-spotted-on-the-red-planet) image of the impact near Mars' south pole on its official Twitter account. Check it out below.

HiRISE co-investigator Ross Beyer explained in their website that the crash hit the ice cap and punched through it. The two-toned blast pattern shown in the image also provides clues on what happened during and after the impact.

"When an impactor hits the ground, there is a tremendous amount of force like an explosion," Beyer said in a (https://www.uahirise.org/ESP_057152_0985) statement . "The larger, lighter-colored blast pattern could be the result of scouring by winds from the impact shockwave."

"The darker-colored inner blast pattern is because the impactor penetrated the thin ice layer, excavated the dark sand underneath, and threw it out in all directions on top of the layer," he continued.

This new discovery comes amid NASA's new developments in its upcoming Mars mission. The space agency announced in November that it has chosen the location where its Mars 2020 Rover will land on the Red Planet. The spacecraft is expected to touch down on Mars on Feb. 18, 2021. 

Aside from this, NASA also wants to send astronauts to the Martian surface in the 2030s. However, former astronaut Buzz Aldrin said in 2016 that he believes the target date set for this longterm goal should be extended to 2040 instead. The Gemini 12 and Apollo 11 astronaut said in an (https://www.foxnews.com/science/buzz-aldrin-eyes-2040-for-manned-mars-mission) interview with Fox News that astronauts could land on Mars' moon, Phobos, first in 2040. This could serve as a stepping stone before venturing to Mars.

Meanwhile, the new impact crater wasn't the only one discovered on the Mars surface over the past few months. In December, the European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft captured and shared the (https://twitter.com/esa/status/1075723754251137024?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1075723754251137024&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fcms.ibtimes.com%2Fwinter-mars-spacecraft-discovers-massive-icy-crater-red-planet-photo-2745595) images of a crater filled with ice now called Korolev crater. 

ESA said on its website that the Korolev crater, which is 82 kilometers across, can be found in the northern lowlands of Mars. The icy crater is consistently covered in a sheet of ice that is around a mile thick. 

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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Date:Jan 28, 2019
Words:471
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