A Youthful Crater in the Cydonia Colles Region
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A Youthful Crater in the Cydonia Colles Region

May 21, 2012
This observation shows a youthful crater with sharp rim and gullied slopes.

Just what makes a Martian crater youthful, in a geologic sense? Very old craters tend to have eroded rims and can have plenty of material that's filled in the floor. Gale Crater, where the Mars Science Laboratory will land this summer, is an example of an ancient, highly eroded crater. By contrast, the crater in this image appears to have experienced much less erosion.

Note that even though a crater might be called "youthful," it can still mean that the crater formed tens of thousands of years ago, if not more.

Note: the above image is not map-projected, so North is down.

Written by: HiRISE Science Team

Credits: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

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