Glossary term: Crater
Description: A crater is a circular depression in the surface of a solid planet, moon, or other small object in space. Some craters are volcanic, especially on Earth and Venus, but most are impact craters, caused by the impact of a large space rock or comet nucleus. There are dozens of impact craters on the surface of Earth, and thousands on the Moon. The maria, the large, darker, circular features on the Moon are giant impact craters, formed billions of years ago, and then filled with lava, which has since solidified.Related Terms:
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Term and definition status: This term and its definition is still awaiting approval
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CeresCaption: True-colour image of the asteroid Ceres acquired by the spaceprobe Dawn in May 2015, at a distance of 13641 km. The prominent, bright crater at right is Haulani. The smaller bright spot to its left is exposed on the floor of Oxo. Ejecta from these impacts appears to have exposed bright material, probably water ice.
Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA / MPS / DLR / IDA / Justin Cowart
License: CC-BY-2.0 Creative Comments Attribution 2.0 Generic icons