Heimdall (Martian crater)

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Descent of Phoenix with a crater in the background taken by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.jpg
Heimdall photographed by MRO, with the Phoenix lander parachuting down to a landing nearby.
Planet Mars
Coordinates 68°18′N 235°18′E / 68.3°N 235.3°E / 68.3; 235.3Coordinates: 68°18′N 235°18′E / 68.3°N 235.3°E / 68.3; 235.3
Diameter 10 km
Eponym The Norse god Heimdall

Heimdall is a relatively recent impact crater on the planet Mars. It lies in Vastitas Borealis, the northern plain. It is named after the Norse god Heimdall.[1]

The crater is approximately 20 kilometers from the landing site of the Phoenix lander. The landing site area is believed to be blanketed by ejecta excavated by the impact that created Heimdall.[2] The spacecraft was photographed during landing by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and was captured parachuting in the line of sight to the crater. While appearing to be over the crater, the craft was actually 20 km in front of it.


  1. ^ "Phoenix Almost There", Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA
  2. ^ Arvidson; Adams, D.; Bonfiglio, G.; Christensen, P.; Cull, S.; Golombek, M.; Guinn, J.; Guinness, E.; Heet, T.; Kirk, R.; Knudson, A.; Malin, M.; Mellon, M.; McEwen, A.; Mushkin, A.; Parker, T.; Seelos, F.; Seelos, K.; Smith, P.; Spencer, D.; Stein, T.; Tamppari, L. (2008). "Mars Exploration Program 2007 Phoenix landing site selection and characteristics". Journal of Geophysical Research 113: E00A03. Bibcode:2008JGRE..11300A03A. doi:10.1029/2007JE003021. 

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