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Exploratour - Comparing the Surfaces of Earth and Mars

Examples of Craters

The table below compares craters on Earth and Mars.

Earth



These pictures show craters at different places on the Earth's surface. The left picture shows two craters in Quebec, Canada (Click on image for full size version (315K GIF) Courtesy of NASA/LPI ). The right image shows the Barringer Meteor Crater in Arizona (Click on image for full size version (307K GIF), Courtesy of D. Roddy and LPI ).

Like other planets, the surface of the Earth has many craters. Barringer Meteor Crater (right image), located in Arizona, is 1.2 km across, and is 49,000 years old. The twin impact craters seen in the left image are Clearwater East and West craters, located in Quebec, Canada. They were formed at the same time by two separate but probably related meteorite impacts. These two craters, which are much older than the Barringer crater, appear much more worn away or eroded than the younger crater.

Mars



These pictures show examples of craters on the surface of Mars. The picture at the left shows the Sinus Sabaus and Deucalionis Regio region of Mars, and was obtained by Mariner 6 in 1969. (Click on image for full size version (282K GIF), Image courtesy of NASA). The image at the right shows a crater and dune fields near the south pole of Mars. (Click on image for full size version (112K JPG), Image courtesy of NASA).

There are many craters on the surface of Mars. The image at the left (best seen at full size), taken by Mariner 6 in 1969, shows many craters in the Sinus Sabaus and Deucalionis Regio region of Mars. The crater at the lower right of this image is Flaugergues and the double crater to the lower left is Wislicenus. In the full size image, you can see craters within craters, overlapping craters, and craters with raised central peaks. The image at the right shows an eroded crater and sand dunes near the south pole of Mars. Craters in this region of Mars are being erased by the action of sand on the Martian surface. There are even sand dunes within the crater.


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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA