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New Mars Crater Spotted In Before-and-After Pictures 41

The Bad Astronomer (563217) writes "The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spotted a new crater on the surface of Mars, and, using before-and-after pictures, the impact date has been nailed down to less than a day — it happened on or about March 27, 2012. The crater is 50 meters or so in size, and surrounded by smaller craters that may have been caused by smaller impacts due to the incoming meteoroid breaking up. Several landslides were spotted in the area as well, possibly due to the shock wave of the impact."
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New Mars Crater Spotted In Before-and-After Pictures

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  • Meters? (Score:4, Funny)

    by ArcadeMan ( 2766669 ) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @10:34PM (#47071853)

    For those who are metric-impaired, 50 meters equals 1968.5 inches.

  • Curiosity (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PPH ( 736903 ) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @10:49PM (#47071893)

    Anything for Curiousity to see? Dust in the atmosphere? Seismic waves? The top of the meteor slowly unscrewing?

  • by RockDoctor ( 15477 ) on Friday May 23, 2014 @08:22AM (#47073357) Journal

    In other words, this crater was spotted less than a day after the impact that formed it!

    It was photographed at less than a day old, but since it's only being reported now, there was probably a period of some days or even weeks between the photos being taken, downloaded to Earth, decoded, and analysed with a before/ after filter. Then follow-up photos with other orbiters, preparing reports etc ... I'd guess that it wasn't much more than a week between the photography and realisation (the actual "spotting") ; but I won't go into philosophical pickiness over whether the "spotting" was done by the before-after comparison algorithm or the human reviewing the list of before-after differences.

    It would be informative (if The Bad Astronomer is reading) to know how many false before-after differences turn up each day or orbit? Tens, hundreds? The origins would be informative too - weather, cosmic ray hits, transient glints off Tripods?

  • by ralphius ( 1466709 ) on Friday May 23, 2014 @08:39AM (#47073425)
    Does anybody know how far away this brand new crater is from Curiosity? I would have thought such recently exposed sub-surface rock would have been fascinating for the geologists/scientists controlling the rover to study?
    • My guess ... the chances of a random impact they've identified being anywhere near the rovers across an entire planet are probably pretty small.

      Even "close" on these scales would likely be further than the rovers have traveled in the entire time they've been there.

  • This has been going on far too long. Stop the Mars impacts! Join the pro-Mars movement!! No more craters!!!

In the realm of scientific observation, luck is granted only to those who are prepared. - Louis Pasteur