This picture of a heart-shaped feature in Arabia Terra was taken on 23 May 2010 by the CTX camera on the MRO spacecraft.

February 14, 2011

This picture of a heart-shaped feature in Arabia Terra was taken on 23 May 2010 by the CTX camera on the MRO spacecraft. A small impact crater near the tip of the heart is responsible for the formation of the bright, heart-shaped feature. When the impact occurred, darker material on the surface was blown away, and brighter material beneath it was revealed. Some of this brighter material appears to have flowed further downslope to form the heart shape, as the small impact occurred on the ejecta blanket of a much larger impact crater. The heart-shaped feature is about 1 km long and is centered at 21.9°N, 12.7°W. This feature is visible in a much lower resolution Viking 1 image acquired in January 1977.

Credit

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

ENLARGE

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