Astronomy:Santa Maria (crater)

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Santa Maria
Panorama taken by MER-B
Panorama taken by Opportunity rover on December 18th, 2010
RegionMeridiani Planum
CoordinatesCoordinates: 2°10′19″S 5°26′42″W / 2.172°S 5.445°W / -2.172; -5.445
Diameter90 meters (295 feet)
DiscovererOpportunity rover

Santa Maria is an impact crater on Mars, located at 2.172°S, 5.445°W within the Meridiani Planum extraterrestrial plain, lying situated within the Margaritifer Sinus quadrangle (MC-19) region.

This geological feature was first visited by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. It sits north west of the much larger Endeavour crater. The crater measures about 80–90 m (260–300 ft) across. Its name has not been officially recognized by the Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature.[1]


Santa Maria crater from orbit, by HiRise

Opportunity arrived at the crater on December 15, 2010.[2] The rover was positioned at the south eastern rim, where it took several images and prepared for the oncoming Solar Conjunction. The last communication made before the conjunction was on February 3, 2011.[3] Communications resumed around a week later, and the rover performed several in-situ studies of the rocks "Luis de Torres" and "Ruiz Garcia". The rover left the crater on March 22, heading eastwards towards Endeavour crater.

See also