Lau (crater)

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Lau Crater
Lau Crater, as seen by CTX camera (on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter). Curved ridges are probably eskers which formed under glaciers.
Planet Mars
Region Mare Australe quadrangle
Coordinates 74°24′S 107°48′W / 74.4°S 107.8°W / -74.4; -107.8Coordinates: 74°24′S 107°48′W / 74.4°S 107.8°W / -74.4; -107.8
Diameter 105.9 km
Eponym Hans E. Lau
Close up of eskers in Lau Crater, as seen by CTX camera (on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter). The dark lines are dust devil tracks. Note: this is an enlargement of the previous image of Lau Crater.

Lau Crater is an impact crater in the Mare Australe quadrangle of Mars, located at 74.4°S latitude and 107.8°W longitude, and is located in Aonia Terra northwest of Parva Planum. It is 104.9  km in diameter and was named after Hans E. Lau, and the name was approved in 1973 by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN).[1]

Lau is almost halfway between Playfair to the southwest and Heaviside to the northeast. Other nearby prominent craters include Steno to the north-northwest and Schmidt nearly to the east.

The curved ridges observed on the crater floor are believed to be eskers, which form when streams run under a glacier.[2] These eskers would indicate a large, thick sheet of ice once covered this region.

Dark lines in close view image are dust devil tracks.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Planetary Names: Welcome". Retrieved 2015-02-10. 
  2. ^ Namowitz, S., D. Stone. 1975. Earth Science The World We Live In. American Book Company. New York.