Rutherford (Martian crater)

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Western side of Rutherford Crater, as seen by CTX camera (on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter). Light-toned deposits are visible.
Dunes on floor of Rutherford Crater, as seen by CTX camera (on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter). Note: this is an enlargement of the previous image.

Rutherford Crater is an impact crater in the Oxia Palus quadrangle on Mars at 19.2° N and 10.7° W. and is 110.5 km in diameter. Its name was approved in 1973, and it was named after Ernest Rutherford.[1] Some close up images of the crater show dunes and light-toned material. Light-toned rocks on Mars have been associated with hydrated minerals like sulfates. The Mars Rover Opportunity examined such layers close-up with several instruments. Scientists are excited about finding hydrated minerals such as sulfates and clays on Mars because they are usually formed in the presence of water.[2] Places that contain clays and/or other hydrated minerals would be good places to look for evidence of life.[3]

See also


  1. "Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature | Rutherford". International Astronomical Union. Retrieved 5 March 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Target Zone: Nilosyrtis? | Mars Odyssey Mission THEMIS". Retrieved 2012-08-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "HiRISE | Craters and Valleys in the Elysium Fossae (PSP_004046_2080)". Retrieved 2012-08-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>