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WRITER FUEL: Mars Orbiter Finds Giant “Fingerprint” in Crater

Airy Crater "Fingerprint" - NASA

NASA has released a stunning image of a unique crater on Mars with strange, luminous ridges that give it the appearance of a human fingerprint.

The crater in the photo is known as Airy-0, a 0.3-mile-wide (0.5 kilometer) depression that sits within the much larger Airy crater, which is around 27 miles (43.5 km) wide. The newly released picture was taken on Sept. 8, 2021, using the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and was shared by NASA in an Instagram post on April 11.

In 1884, astronomers originally chose the larger Airy crater to mark Mars’ prime meridian, the lineof zero degrees longitude where East meets West, according to NASA. On Earth, the prime meridian is marked by the Greenwich Royal Observatory in the U.K., which denotes the boundary between the Eastern and Western hemispheres. The Airy craters are named after British astronomer Sir George Biddell Airy, who built the telescope at the Greenwich Royal Observatory that first spotted the massive crater.

“Writer Fuel” is a series of cool real-world stories that might inspire your little writer heart. Check out our Writer Fuel page on the LimFic blog for more inspiration.

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