New photos gleaned by the Mars Express spacecraft in orbit about the red planet have failed to shed any light on the origins of an "enigmatic" elongated crater named Orcus Patera. The Martian crater Orcus Patera. Credit: ESA Interstellar alien spaceship prang skidmark? Orcus Patera lies on the border of Mars' Elysium and …
We'll need more guns.....
Big fucking guns!
I blame the Vorlons
Alien? I don't think so.
It's the Ork hordes
Looks like the crash zone caused by the Ork spacehulk in Gorkamorka.
Which means the areas probably alive with Homicidal Mockney Fungi.
Our alien friend has a visitor...
IDW Publishing Transformers Movie Prequel...the Autobot Bumblebee lands on Mars, causing a crater very similar to that.
This is a warning; do not allow yourself to be approached by yellow American cars at any point in the next few years. It can only end badly.
Now I remember why those crop circles are mostly in England...
Hmmm... Extraterrestrial causes seem to be the primary hypotheses
But then ...
everything on Mars is extraterrestrial (except Vikings, Rovers and other stuff we sent, if you insist)
Are you all so busy wondering about the aliens that you missed the pond scum?
no aliens/meteorites here
There are no drag lines indicating a direction of movement through the solid mars surface... therefore no alien skimming and no meteorites can have hit at any kind of angle. There must be some other explanation... my money is on a direct impact at 0 angle or some kind of strong wind/weather conditions over a light/dusty surface - a bit like a dessert
It is clearly a battle scar.
The original Martians were at interstellar war with another advanced race. Their enemies used kinetic energy weapons (near-C rocks) to obliterate the Martian civilization. This was the single last shot that eliminated the Martian homeworld.
Fortunately for us, the Martians had seeded the 3rd planet with life-bearing rocks before they were exterminated.
Nobody mentioned Golf yet?
Perhaps there's a rather large divot lying/orbiting around somewhere.
Possibly not golf ...
... I dare suggest it was cricket.
I can't see you. You're completely implausible.
I thought we warned you about doing any more time traveling. Back to the future with you.
I think if you try this out with flour and ball bearings, you can prove that *all* impact craters are circular regardless of the angle of impact. (If it's not an impact, more of a 'skip', I guess this doesn't apply).
45 dgree rule
Impact craters are caused by supersonic shock waves, so the process does not resemble chucking ball bearings into flour.
Most surface impacts - especially on planets with atmospheres - take place at more than 45 degrees, at which angle the shock waves radiate in largely circular pattern. Below this angle, however, the resulting crater becomes an elongated ovoid, as a greater degree of the explosive force is directed along the axis of impact - like the Matt Wilson crater in northern Australia; one of the best examples of a single, low-angle impact crater on Earth.
The curious thing about this one, is its shallow, and very smooth, floor. One radical explanation, is that the true surface of the crater was buried in silt, as part of some sort of lake bed, which formed in it, following (or perhaps even because of) the impact itself.
Start the reactor?
Free your mind, Quaid.
... it was Hancock, moonlighting!
Everyone knows it's elerium, not eternium!
Now, everyone needs to get a copy of XCom/UFO Enemy Unknown, so that we'll all know how to defend ourselves...
We studied mars in my geology degree.
I reckon it is either a collapsed geode or a caldera. Would explain the hard rock sides and the perfectly flat centre, assuming the atmosphere was around and the dusts could then move in and fill it.
Given mars has lava and tectonics in a similar way to us, it is more plausible than a space ship glancing off a planet. To create that it would have been a HUGE ship and we would all now be minions or food.
Pretty obvious to me
Pretty obvious it was a prototype Martian War Machine craft that went astray when launched....
It's interplanetary snooker!
At least it wasn't potted into a black hole (only scores 1 point, as it is a red ball)
martian cylinder launch ramp?
It never fails, you know, just after you've gotten the thing washed and waxed (or something along those lines).
Perhaps Some Earthlike Geological processes?
For me there is a logical processes that could have caused it. I'm not an expert in dating crater formation so my hypothesis might be bollocks
1. Shallow impact crater, meteorite 'skids' impact carving out crater. The generally flat look of the crater floor is caused by it filling with sand / dust over the many millions of years later, so basically we're looking at the solar systems biggest sandpit.
2. Shallow impact crater, similar process but into water / wet mud type lake bed.
3. Tectonic movement, a caldera / rift valley type process was at work that stalled. When the underlying magma cooled it contracted leaving a depression (which then filled with dust / sediment etc).
Things to look for, if it where a meteorite impact we should see a 'fall out line' of debris some distance from the crater (the distance would denote the force of impact, by measuring the mass of the objects moved / distance / gravity we can work out how big it was). Imagine a bunker shot in golf where the sand kicks up and falls after etc.
Government feck up
The government haven't fecked up again have they? Tell me that is not a site being cleared for a stadium for the 2012 Olympics?
They have to be kidding?
"However, the most likely explanation is that it was made in an oblique impact, when a small body struck the surface at a very shallow angle, perhaps less than five degrees from the horizontal"
Who the F*** are they trying to kid? Just look at the skale of this thing! The crater walls are almost 2 kilometers high for goodness sake! SMALL BODY?!!!
If this is an impact crater then it means Mars was at some point hit by a bloody MASSIVE object, something maybe 50-100 Kilometers wide...
A similar impact on Earth would distroy a large proportion of the atmosphere and wipe out te vast majority of life eventually turning our planet into a lifeless rock like Mars... Hmm.. maybe they just don't want to cause a panic..?