A giant camera orbits Mars.
It is attached to NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. It can detect objects as small as a table, including robotic rovers. It is called HiRISE, the High-Resolution Imaging Experiment. It recently captured an amazing view of a Martian Crater.
This image was taken in 2021 and released on Jan. 20, showing a crater, likely created by an impact. It is filled with vibrant dunes. Although Mars is often some 140 million miles away from Earth or sometimes further, Earth-like geologic processes continue to occur there.
While the crater is a striking feature in Mars’ desert, it also serves a vital purpose for planetary scientists. It marks precisely the position of zero longitudes, which is the line that divides Mars’ eastern and western hemispheres.
The Royal Observatory Greenwich (UK) marks this point on Earth. A crater is required for Mars, which is a site that bears the scars of past asteroid impacts.
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