Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 16:13 EDT
Meridiani Craters
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Meridiani Craters

December 26, 2013
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a small portion of Meridiani Planum. The majority of craters, particularly those in the lower half of the image, are secondary impacts caused by the landing of rock and debris ejected from a much larger impact crater, located elsewhere in the region. The large, nearly circular depression at the top center of the image is the site of a much older crater that was filled and almost completely buried beneath the plains. As result of the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's work in Meridiani Planum, it is now known that the bright rims and walls of the craters are, at least in part, exposures of sedimentary rock. The dark material covering the plains, according to rover results, is mostly very fine sand plus millimeter-sized granules. This picture covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across, and is located near 2.5°S, 3.3°W. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the left.

Credits: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems