Friday, July 08, 2022

Mars: Layering in Danielson Crater | NASA MRO

Mars: Layering in Danielson Crater | NASA MRO

This image shows a classic example of Martian sedimentary rock in Danielson Crater. The many layers of rock are regularly spaced, forming steps; this implies a series of strong cap layers alternating with weaker layers.

At small scale, much of the rock is heavily fractured. Because the fractured pieces neatly fit together, this occurred after the deposit turned to rock.

It is not known with certainty how these rocks formed, but the regularity of the layers suggests a process that repeated many times, perhaps on annual or longer timescales. This suggests that the layers did not accumulate in a series of random events, as layers of crater ejecta might.

Danielson Crater is an impact crater in the Oxia Palus quadrangle on Mars at 7.93° N and 7.11° W. and is 66.7 km in diameter, and is north of the Meridiani Planum, south of Arabia Terra and west of the planet's meridia. Its name was approved in 2009. The crater was named after American engineer G. Edward Danielson. [Wikipedia]

Enhanced color image is less than 1 km (under a mile) top to bottom and is 276 km (171 mi) above the surface. North is to the right.

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) is the second longest-lived spacecraft to orbit Mars, after 2001 Mars Odyssey. It has been studying the Red Planet since March 2006. The spacecraft collects and relays daily science and weather data. It also scouts for landing locations for Mars landers and serves as a critical relay station for science beamed back from the Red Planet.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on MRO, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colorado.

Credit: NASA/JPL/UArizona

Release Date: March 9, 2022

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