NASA's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has captured a mesmerising picture of a well-preserved Impact Ejecta on Mars. The elliptical crater in Terra Sabaea on Mars is unnamed. According to NASA, the picture illustrates how complex are the ejecta deposits.
These ejecta deposits form as a by-product of the impact process that provides a shape to much of the surface of the red planet.
NASA said the impact took place on the steep slopes of the wall of a larger crater made the crater elliptical and it is not so because of an angled (oblique) impact.
Because of this the crater is truncated along the slope and elongated perpendicular to the slope and elongated perpendicular to the slope.
Any impact melt from the smaller crater would have preferentially deposited down slope and towards the floor of the larger crater (towards the west).
The complex formation and emplacement history of these enigmatic deposits formed by this elliptical crater can be visualised with the help of this picture. Also, its degradation history can be understood with the image.
The image shows a portion of the western ejecta deposits coming from a 10-km impact crater that takes place within the wall of a larger 60-km-wide crater. The central part shows a lobe-shaped portion of the ejecta blanket from the smaller crater.
Within this deposit, fine-scale morphological features in the form of a dense network of small ridges and pits can be seen. The crater-related pitted materials are consistent with the volatile-rich impact melt-bearing deposits present in some of the best-preserved craters on Mars.
Immediately after the impact event, these deposits formed and their evident presence is related to the preservation state of the crater.