A Color-Saturated Look At Mercury's Massive, Ancient Caloris Basin

Mercury's Caloris Basin is seen in an enhanced color mosaic. The massive crater, formed some 4 billion years ago, is orange. Smaller craters made subsequently are rendered in blue, while orange splotches around the perimeter may be volcanic vents. » 3/07/15 4:30pm 3/07/15 4:30pm

This is not an asteroid crater. Or so says a new study looking at the moon's largest dark spot Oceanus Procellarum (a.k.a Ocean of Storms). But the newly proposed origin is equally cool: A stretching of the lunar crust, driven by a process that researchers compare to plate tectonics here on Earth. » 10/02/14 12:40pm 10/02/14 12:40pm

Dunes Let Us Study One Of The Universe's Fastest Geologic Processes

With a gentle rainbow of topographical changes, and the scalloped detail of active dunes, this digital terrain model is pure indulgence for the eyes. It's also part of an ongoing study on using aeolian processes to investigate sedimentation and atmospheric science on Mars. » 5/16/14 12:49pm 5/16/14 12:49pm

Zumba Crater, Mars

The walls on the sides of Zumba Crater on Mars are so steep, it looks like an eyeball staring back at you from the digital terrain model. The ejecta forms a hill of red and brown around the perfectly circular blue crater floor. » 4/25/14 10:18pm 4/25/14 10:18pm

Mapping the Moon

Selenography, the study of surface and physical features of the Moon, is a field where science meets art. From careful engravings and sketches of early observations to lunar photography, it is all gorgeous. So settle in, and enjoy some lunar eye-candy. » 4/13/14 8:02pm 4/13/14 8:02pm

Erosion in a Martian Crater

This well-preserved crater on Mars features evidence of mass wasting — reoccurring slope linea formation. Material is being eroded from the high-elevation crater lip, forming shifting gullies into the basin below. » 4/04/14 3:45pm 4/04/14 3:45pm

After the asteroid hits, we'll build a post-apocalyptic city inside the…

From destruction comes rebirth. Chinese architects Xiaomia Xiao, Lixiang Miao, Xinmin Li, and Minzhao Guo dream up a world in which a devastating asteroid has hit, and we use the crater as the site of a thriving city. » 3/14/13 11:50am 3/14/13 11:50am

The world's biggest, oldest impact crater hollowed out Greenland three…

The asteroid that hit Earth 65 million years ago and wiped out the dinosaur was at least six miles across and left behind a crater over 110 miles across. But that's nothing compared to a possibly newly discovered impact site. » 7/01/12 3:30pm 7/01/12 3:30pm

Mars rover Opportunity is about to embark on a new mission, looking for…

Things can be pretty slow-going on the red planet for NASA's Mars rover Opportunity. Since January of 2004, the solar-powered Opportunity has been chugging along the planet's surface at a leisurely pace of 60 centimeters an hour, but there's exciting news on the horizon. Or rather, its horizon. » 8/09/11 12:45pm 8/09/11 12:45pm

The search is on for water on Mercury

NASA's Messenger probe has already taken thousands of photos of Mercury's surface after coming into orbit around the planet earlier this week. And it's got plenty still to do, including searching for hidden pockets of ice on Mercury's boiling surface. » 3/31/11 4:00pm 3/31/11 4:00pm

Martian crater gets hit by meteorites again...and again...and again

Most of the craters created by meteorite and asteroid impacts are round, nothing like this strangely elongated, oval-shaped crater recently discovered on Mars. This crater just might be the trendiest meteorite landing spot on all of Mars. » 3/06/11 7:00am 3/06/11 7:00am

This bizarre elongated crater is a Martian mystery

This crater, known as Orcus Patera, is a strange, elliptical crater located near Mars's equator. Roughly 240 miles long by 90 miles wide, its elongated shape doesn't fit with standard models of crater formation, leaving astronomers with a baffling mystery. » 8/29/10 12:30pm 8/29/10 12:30pm

Unusual Moon crater could be the first lunar volcano discovered

Before the twentieth century, astronomers believed volcanoes formed the Moon's craters instead of meteorite impacts. Now we know better, but those earlier astronomers might not have been completely wrong - at least when it comes to craters like this one. » 8/15/10 7:00am 8/15/10 7:00am

World's Best Preserved Crater Found Using Google Earth

This crater, located in a remote area of the Sahara desert, was discovered by researchers using Google Earth. And that's actually not even the coolest part. Kamil, as the crater is called, may be the world's best preserved crater. » 7/24/10 2:41pm 7/24/10 2:41pm

Phobos Will Be the Next Victim of Moon-Killing Mars

Martian moons Phobos and Deimos may have once had a lunar sibling. The discovery of a pair of elliptical craters on Mars’ surface have led astronomers to speculate that a small moon may have held an unsteady orbit around the planet, only to be dragged down by Mars’ gravity and destroyed. And one thing is for certain:… » 10/26/08 8:00am 10/26/08 8:00am

Siberian Doomsday Supercrater Finally Located

A team of scientists has finally located the impact crater from a "Doomsday" 1908 meteor strike that was one thousand times more powerful than the blast that leveled Hiroshima. You wouldn't think looking for something that size would be like trying to find a needle in a haystack, but it's gone undetected for nearly… » 11/14/07 1:20pm 11/14/07 1:20pm