Close up on Mars’s craters

Dramatic new images of Mars's cratered highlands from ESO's Mars Express probe

New images of Mars's cratered highlands from ESA's Mars Express probe


New images of Mars’s cratered highlands from ESA’s Mars Express probe
Image credit: ESA/DLR/Fu Berlin/G Neukum
 

ESA’s Mars Express has returned dramatic new views of pedestal craters in the Red Planet’s eastern Arabia Terra.

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Pedestal craters are the result of impacts by asteroids, comets and meteorites, when the surrounding terrain is covered by pulverised rock thrown out of the crater.

This material creates a platform, or pedestal, around the crater often with steep cliffs, and is usually rich in volatile materials such as water and ice.

Arabia Terra is part of the highlands of Mars, stretching east to west across 4,500km in the northern hemisphere.

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This image shows a region 159km by 87km – an area about a third of the size of Denmark.