McLaughlin Crater is an old crater in the Oxia Palus quadrangle of Mars, located at 21°54′N 337°38′E / 21.9°N 337.63°E. It is 90.92 km (56.50 mi) in diameter and 2.2 km (1.4 mi) deep. The crater was named after Dean B. McLaughlin, an American astronomer (1901-1965). The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has found evidence that the water came from beneath the surface between 3.7 billion and 4 billion years ago and remained long enough to make carbonate-related clay minerals found in layers. McLaughlin Crater, one of the deepest craters on Mars, contains Mg-Fe clays and carbonates that probably formed in a groundwater-fed alkaline lake. This type of lake could have had a massive biosphere of microscopic organisms.
McLaughlin crater - close-up
(released 14 January 2016).
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- ^ name="IAU-20101117"
- ^ http://planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov/
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