HomePOPULARThree New Craters Discovered on Mars Named After Indian Physicist and Cities

Three New Craters Discovered on Mars Named After Indian Physicist and Cities

Three recently discovered craters on Mars are named after noted cosmic ray physicist Devendra Lal and the cities of Mursan and Hilsa in northern India.Although the discovery was made in 2021 by a team of scientists, including researchers working at the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) here, the name was approved by an international body earlier this month.

The three craters are located in the Tharsis volcanic region of the Red Planet, Ahmedabad-based PRL, an arm of the Indian government’s space ministry, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Tharsis is a large volcanic plateau near the equator in the western hemisphere of Mars. This region is home to some of the largest volcanoes in the Solar System.

On June 5, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Working Group on Planetary System Nomenclature approved the names of the craters as “Lal” crater, “Mursan” crater, and “Hilsa” crater, according to PRL director Anil Bhardwaj.

Mursan and Hilsa are the names of cities located in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, respectively.

The discovery of the crater provides evidence that water brought a large amount of sediment to the newly discovered Lal Crater and that Mars was once wet and floated in water.

According to a paper by scientists Rajiv Bharti, Isaac Smith, SK Mishra, N Srivastava, and Sheetal Shukla, this discovery was made by SHARAD (Mars SHAlow RADar Sounder), a ground-sound radar deployed by the Mars Exploration Mission in the Mangala Crater of Mars. The Mars Orbiter (MRO) is a spacecraft designed to search for water on Mars as part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program.

Bharti, Mishra, and Srivastava are associated with PRL. Shukla is affiliated with Gujarat University and Smith and York University in Toronto, Canada.

Lal Crater is 65 km wide and the largest of the three. Prof. Devendra Lal, Director of PRL from 1972–1983,.

According to PRL notification, the Mursan and Hilsa craters are about 10 km wide and are located on the east and west sides of the Lal crater base.

“The entire area of the Lal crater in the Taris volcanic region on Mars is covered with lava. There is geophysical evidence of material other than lava in this crater, with a 45-meter-thick sediment bed at the bottom of the crater. Using the SHARAD/MRO subsurface radar,” he said.

The Mursan and Hilsa craters “provide a timeline for the eruption of the Lal crater and show that the seepage was episodic,” he said.

Read Now:Solar Storms Blast Earth and Mars: What It Means for Future Mars Explorers?

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