PIA23304: A Work of Art
 Target Name:  Mars
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)
 Spacecraft:  Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)
 Instrument:  HiRISE
 Product Size:  2560 x 1920 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  University of Arizona/HiRISE-LPL
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA23304.tif (14.75 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA23304.jpg (809.6 kB)

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An impressionist painting? No, it's a new impact crater that has appeared on the surface of Mars, formed at most between September 2016 and February 2019.

What makes this stand out is the darker material exposed beneath the reddish dust. It looks blue because its a false color image, which combines several color filters to enhance differences between material compositions. The light blue indicates an absence of brighter, redder dust where the impact blast scoured the surface, revealing bedrock below. The very bright blue could be ejecta with a different composition that was thrown by the impact.

The blue color isnt ice. This impact was near the equator, not in a region where wed expect shallow ice below the surface.

The University of Arizona, in Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., in Boulder, Colorado. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Image Addition Date:
2019-06-18