back to article Mars Orbiter spots FRESH IMPACT CRATER

NASA has announced the discovery of a fresh impact crater on Mars, and has released eye-popping pictures of the new hole taken by the Mars Orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE). The orbiter can't provide certainty about when the crater first appeared, as HiRISE was only pressed into service after the …


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  1. Charles Manning

    While Mars gets a lot more tiny parking-lot dings due to its thin atmosphere, this one would have easily mde it through Earth's atmosphere.

    Mars ejections would be further due to lower gravity there and the thinner atmosphere eating less of the kinetic energy, but this would still surely have been a few km of ejection radius if it had hit here.

    Keep your heads down...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My anxiety levels have not risen, where's my safety hat?

    2. Annihilator

      "While Mars gets a lot more tiny parking-lot dings due to its thin atmosphere, this one would have easily mde it through Earth's atmosphere."

      We don't know what size it was to begin with, only the crater impact size, but it'll certainly be a lot smaller than 30m, probably on the scale of 1m or less.

      By comparison, it takes 20m objects to get through our atmosphere, as demonstrated in Chelyabinsk last year, and even that one didn't really create a crater.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        I would look for a Slaver in a stasis field in that crater, you can never be too sure.

      2. Dreadogastus

        A miss doesn't count

        Much smaller meteorites can penetrate the atmosphere. The Chelyabinsk left no crater because it "broke up" appx. 5 km above the ground. This breakup was estimated at @ 45 kilotons. I don't want that anywhere near my house.

  2. Denarius Silver badge

    nice lump in middle too

    A small crater, but it seems to have a small rebound lump in middle. Or is that the end of a Star Seed ?

    1. Mark 85

      Re: nice lump in middle too

      I see two lumps inside the crater on the hi-res version. Is the Star Seed twins or something more sinister? Maybe a lander and rover?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: nice lump in middle too

        Those are eyestalks!!

      2. Bunbury

        Re: nice lump in middle too

        O O


        O O

        Curse you Captain Black! Why did you open fire on their city?

        1. toxicdragon

          Re: nice lump in middle too

          It was the creatures from Klendathu, just their aim was a bit off.

  3. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Mars Attacked!

    Nice planet. We'll take it.

  4. Camilla Smythe


    It might be my old eyes but it does not look like the ejecta is as 'radial' as it should be?

    1. frank ly

      Re: Non-radial

      It may be that the meteorite (if that is what it was, see above) came slightly from the 'south'. There could have been a strong southerly wind blowing?

      1. Tom 260

        Re: Non-radial

        The angle of impact is a much bigger factor than the Martian wind, given the average atmospheric pressure of 0.6kPa (versus Earth at 101kPa), and debris will be travelling at a significant proportion of the impact velocity (20km/s for a ballpark figure on the original meteorite, barely slowed down by the atmosphere). On Earth ejecta would be slowed to subsonic speeds fairly rapidly.

  5. Winkypop Silver badge

    We come.... pieces...

  6. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Opportunity missed...

    Yes. That. Maybe next time...

  7. Smarty Pants

    looks like 'War of the Worlds' made it out of the solar system and its a pre-emptive strike by the Klendathu

  8. baseh

    And don't forget that the asteroid belt is between Mars and Jupiter

    so you have to expect more impacts of larger rocks

  9. Malc

    Beagle 2 Found

    see title

  10. Crisp

    So El Reg...

    Is this site going to be investigated by Curiosity? How far away is this crater from our little atomic powered friend?

    1. Annihilator

      Re: So El Reg...

      No. Curiosity is travelling about 6 miles in a year - it would be showered in debris by now if it were even remotely in range.

  11. Pen-y-gors

    Bloody N(A)SA

    First they spy on everyone on our little blue planet, now they've got their CCTV cameras monitoring alien planets as well. Is nowhere safe from their intrusion? Next they'll be bugging Opportunity and Curiosity's e-mail to check they aren't consorting with little green trrrrrsts.

  12. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

    what REALLY happened

    GR1nkzorg and Ukthagorroth were playing a game of interplanetary paintball. GR1nkzorg fired, but missed when Ukthagorroth suddenly ducked behind some convenient inner-system cover.

  13. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    "the fresh crater appears blue in the enhanced colour of the image"

    Translation: We clicked the "Auto White Balance" button.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the blue planet

    Looks like Mars has hidden deposits of Lapis Lazuli!

    Would be nice to see a correctly colour balanced image as well. Can't seem to find one on the NASA site.

  15. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    I have a strange suspicion...

    ...those two dots in the crater are a whale and a bowl of petunias.

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