The planet Mars doesn’t damage easily, but the outcome is almost a work of art when it does. Unlike anything scientists have seen before, a new impact crater was discovered in April by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).
The black-and-blue mark sticks out as a sore thumb on the red, stained ground of the planet, remarkable for both its magnitude and its effect waves.
The following spectacular, enhanced-color scene was caught using NASA’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, orbiting 255 kilometers (158 miles) away.
Every year, more than 200 asteroids and comets hit Mars, and while some of them leave comparable dark smudges or other notable features, planetary scientist Veronica Bray from the University of Arizona told Space.com that this fresh crater is one of the most amazing she has ever seen.
The precise nature of this region’s geography is still uncertain, but Bray claims the ground below is likely basalt. And she says that the blue in the picture is probably a lot of ice that was also concealed under the dust.
While the strike’s accurate timing is uncertain, astronomers believe it was created sometime between September 2016 and February 2019.