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Danielle Hilliard

Pitted Terrain on Mars and Vesta

A distinctive "pitted terrain" observed by NASA's Dawn mission on Vesta has also been seen on Mars. The morphologies of pits are similar on both bodies, with irregular shapes and sharp angles where pits share walls. The first image on the left shows the floor of a Martian crater called Tooting, which is 17 miles (28 kilometers) in diameter. The middle image shows the floor of a Martian crater called Zunil, which is about 6 miles (10 kilometers) in diameter. The image on the right shows the floor of Marcia crater on Vesta, which is 40 miles (70 kilometers) in diameter.

The two Mars images were obtained by the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The Vesta image was obtained by Dawn's framing camera.

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Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/MPS/DLR/IDA/JHUAPL

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