Proctor (Martian crater)

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Proctor Crater
Proctor Crater Ripples and Dunes.JPG
Proctor Crater Ripples and Dunes, as seen by HiRISE.
Planet Mars
Coordinates 48°00′S 330°30′W / 48°S 330.5°W / -48; -330.5Coordinates: 48°00′S 330°30′W / 48°S 330.5°W / -48; -330.5
Eponym Richard A.Proctor, a British astronomer (1837–1888)

Proctor Crater is a large crater in the Noachis quadrangle of Mars, located at 48° south latitude and 330.5° west longitude. It is 168.2 km (104.5 mi) in diameter and was named after Richard A. Proctor, a British astronomer (1837–1888).[1] The crater contains a 35 x 65 km dark dune field.[2][3] It was one of the first sand dune fields ever recognized on Mars based on Mariner 9 images.[4] The crater's dunes are being monitored by HiRISE to identify changes over time.[5]

Why are Craters important?[edit]

The density of impact craters is used to determine the surface ages of Mars and other solar system bodies. [6] The older the surface, the more craters present. Crater shapes can reveal the presence of ground ice.

The area around craters may be rich in minerals. On Mars, heat from the impact melts ice in the ground. Water from the melting ice dissolves minerals, and then deposits them in cracks or faults that were produced with the impact. This process, called hydrothermal alteration, is a major way in which ore deposits are produced. The area around Martian craters may be rich in useful ores for the future colonization of Mars. [7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Fenton, L. K. (2005). "Seasonal Movement of Material on Dunes in Proctor Crater, Mars: Possible Present-Day Sand Saltation". Lunar and Planetary Science XXXVI (2005). 
  3. ^ Mary Chapman, ed. (2007). The Geology of Mars: Evidence from Earth-Based Analogs. Cambridge University Press. p. 250. ISBN 978-0-521-83292-2. 
  4. ^ "Dune Activity in Proctor Crater". Mars Global Surveyor - Mars Orbiter Camera - MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-170. Malin Space Science Systems. 10 August 1999. 
  5. ^ Bridges, Nathan (9 March 2009). "Sand Dunes and Ripples in Proctor Crater". HiRISE Operations Center. 
  6. ^
  7. ^