Astronomy:Cassini (Martian crater)

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For the lunar crater, see Cassini (lunar crater). For other things named Cassini, see Cassini (disambiguation).
Cassini Crater
CassiniMartianCrater.jpg
Location of Cassini Crater
PlanetMars
RegionArabia quadrangle
CoordinatesCoordinates: 23°24′N 327°54′W / 23.4°N 327.9°W / 23.4; -327.9
Diameter415 km

Cassini is a crater on Mars named in honour of the Italian astronomer Giovanni Cassini. The name was approved in 1973, by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature.[1]

The crater measures approximately 415 kilometers in diameter and can be found at 327.9°W and 23.4°N.[2] It is in the Arabia quadrangle of Mars. Pictures of small craters on the floor of Cassini reveal multiple layers. Some of these layers can be easily seen in the pictures below. Many places on Mars show rocks arranged in layers. Rock can form layers in a variety of ways. Volcanoes, wind, or water can produce layers.[3] A detailed discussion of layering with many Martian examples can be found in Sedimentary Geology of Mars.[4]

Recent research leads scientists to believe that some of the craters in Arabia may have held huge lakes. Cassini Crater probably once was full of water since its rim seems to have been breached by the waters. Both inflow and outflow channels have been observed on its rim. The lake would have contained more water than Earth's Lake Baikal, our largest freshwater lake by volume.[5]

Many craters once contained lakes.[6][7][8]

See also

References

  1. "Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature | Cassini". International Astronomical Union. http://planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov/Feature/1046. 
  2. "Archived copy". http://ic.arc.nasa.gov/projects/bayes-group/Atlas/Mars/features/crater/index.html. 
  3. "HiRISE – High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment". University of Arizona. http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/?PSP_008437_1750. 
  4. Grotzinger, J. and R. Milliken (eds.). 2012. Sedimentary Geology of Mars. SEPM.
  5. Fassett, C. and J. Head III. 2008. Valley network-fed, open-basin lakes on Mars: Distribution and implications for Noachian surface and subsurface hydrology. Icarus: 198. 39-56.
  6. Cabrol, N. and E. Grin. 2001. The Evolution of Lacustrine Environments on Mars: Is Mars Only Hydrologically Dormant? Icarus: 149, 291-328.
  7. Fassett, C. and J. Head. 2008. Open-basin lakes on Mars: Distribution and implications for Noachian surface and subsurface hydrology. Icarus: 198, 37-56.
  8. Fassett, C. and J. Head. 2008. Open-basin lakes on Mars: Implications of valley network lakes for the nature of Noachian hydrology.