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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 6:49 EDT

The Case Of The Curious Crater

October 10, 2013

A Northern Arizona University astronomer discovered the new type of craters naming them Low-Aspect-Ratio Layered Ejecta, or LARLE, craters. While updating a catalog of Martian craters, the astronomer noticed the LARLE craters which have a thin, sinuous, outer residue that extends far beyond the typical range of material thrown up by an impact. After much research, she determined that the deposit was due to a phenomenon called “base surge” in which a cloud of fine material forms after a large explosion and pushes out along the impact surface, eroding it and picking up material as it goes creating the widespread outer deposit. They used high-resolution images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to get a good view of the novel craters. The astronomer said “that’s part of the fun of science, to see something and say whoa, what’s that?”

[ Read the Article: Up-Close Look At Mars Reveals New Type Of Impact Crater ]