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.
RegionMare Australe quadrangle
Coordinates74°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
Diameter105.9 km
EponymHans 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. It is 104.9 km in diameter. It was named after Danish astronomer Hans E. Lau, and the name was approved in 1973 by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN).[1]

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. ^ "Lau". Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. USGS Astrogeology Research Program.
  2. ^ Namowitz, S., D. Stone. 1975. Earth Science The World We Live In. American Book Company. New York.