The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, or HiRISE, captured this view of a recent impact crater on the Red Planet. According to a NASA description, “the new crater and its ejecta have distinctive color patterns. Once the colors have faded in a few decades, this new crater will still be distinctive compared to the secondaries by having a deeper cavity compared to its diameter.” North is up.
The Moon’s Orientale basin is an archetype of “multi-ring” basins found throughout the solar system. New research has enabled scientists to reconstruct Orientale’s formation using data from NASA’s GRAIL mission. It is now thought that the 580-mile-wide feature was created 3.8 billion years ago by an impacting object some 40 miles across travelling at about 9 miles per second.
Currently setting over four hours after the Sun as seen from the heart of the UK and visible in the west-southwest at dusk, dazzling Venus is about to hit peak brightness in the constellation of Pisces. The planet attains magnitude -4.8 on Friday 17 February — some 21 times the luminosity of brightest star Sirius gracing the southeast horizon as darkness falls.