This animation, based on images by the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Mars Express spacecraft, takes you on a flyover of the Neukum Crater in the southern hemisphere of Mars. The crater is about 63 miles (102 km) wide and .6 miles (1 km) deep, with two shallow depressions and a dune field in its interior.
This complex impact crater has a diverse geologic history, as indicated by various features on the crater rim and floor. Particularly striking are the dark dune fields, likely made up of volcanic material blown in and shaped by strong winds.
The crater’s shallow interior has been infilled by sediments over its history. It is also marked with two irregular depressions that may be a sign of a weaker material that has since eroded away, leaving behind some islands of more resistant material.
Over time the crater rim has undergone varying degrees of collapse, with landslides and slumped material visible in the crater walls. Many smaller craters have also overprinted the rim and pockmarked the interior since Neukum Crater was formed, highlighting its long history.
The crater is named for the German physicist and planetary scientist Gerhard Neukum, one of the founders of ESA’s Mars Express mission. Neukum led the development of the high-resolution stereo camera on Mars Express.
ESA’s Mars Express, a Mars obiter, launched in June 2003.
Bottom line: Video flyover of Mars’ Neukum Crater, based on images from ES’s Mars Express.
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