Miyamoto crater in Meridiani Planum

September 25, 2017
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section view of Mars surface

A subsurface view of Miyamoto crater in Meridiani Planum from the MARSIS radar sounder.  Located west of the Opportunity rover landing site, Miyamoto impact crater is approximately 160 kilometers in diameter (about 100 miles). Miyamoto is partially fill by the deposits that make up Meridiani Planum, leaving a portion of the crater floor exposed (about half the crater is shown in this 3D view). MARSIS sounder data, collected along a track cutting across Miyamoto, shows a curved subsurface feature (upward pointing arrows) that is offset in time delay from the surface reflection of the radar pulses (downward pointing arrows). This subsurface reflector is interpreted to be the crater floor extending beneath the Meridiani Planum deposits.  With knowledge of the thickness of the deposits, the radar sounder data allows the electrical properties of the deposits to be determined.  The curvature of the buried crater floor is an artifact of the time delay representation of the sounder data.

Credit: ESA/NASA/JPL/KU/Smithsonian