Astronomy:Burton (crater)

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Burton Crater
Middle section of Burton Crater, showing central mound, as seen by CTX camera (on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter).
CoordinatesCoordinates: 13°54′S 156°18′W / 13.9°S 156.3°W / -13.9; -156.3
Diameter123.2 km
Central mound of Burton Crater, showing dark slope streaks, as seen by CTX camera (on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter). Note: this is an enlargement of the previous image of Burton Crater from the table.

Burton is an impact crater in the Memnonia quadrangle of Mars, located at 13.9°S latitude and 156.3°W longitude. It is 123.0 km in diameter and was named after British astronomer Charles E. Burton; the name was approved in 1973.[1]

It has a central peak. Impact craters generally have a rim with ejecta around them, in contrast volcanic craters usually do not have a rim or ejecta deposits. As craters get larger (greater than 10 km in diameter) they usually have a central peak.[2] The peak is caused by a rebound of the crater floor following the impact.[3]

Dark Slope Streaks

Many places on Mars show dark streaks on steep slopes like crater walls. It seems that the youngest streaks are dark; they become lighter with age. Often they begin as a small narrow spot then widen and extend downhill for hundreds of meters. They have been seen to travel around obstacles, like boulders.[4] Several ideas have been advanced to explain the streaks. Some involve water or even the growth of organisms.[5][6][7][8] It is most generally accepted that they represent avalanches of dust. The streaks appear in areas covered with dust. When a thin layer of dust is removed, the underlying surface is dark. Much of the Martian surface is covered with dust. Fine dust settles out of the atmosphere covering everything.

A topographic map showing the central peak.
A topographic map showing the central peak.

Dark streaks can be seen in the image to the right of Burton Crater that was taken by CTX.

See also