Creamed by Clots
The eastern wall of a partially degraded impact crater dominates this image. The Sun is shining from the left (west) and brightly illuminates the steep parts of the wall. Many small craters have formed roughly in a line from the top to the bottom of the scene, about 1/3 of the image width from the left edge. The small craters occur in groups and some of them have an elongated (rather than circular) shape. These characteristics suggest that the small craters are the result of secondary impacts, that is, formed by a rain of ejecta thrown out of a primary impact. The ejecta has struck the surface here in the form of clots and individual chunks of material. Such linear streams of ejecta are responsible for the bright rays visible around fresh impact craters. In fact, this particular ray probably originated at Kuiper crater, which is about 360 km to the north.
Date acquired: October 27, 2011
Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington