Aurelia impact crater on Venus

Aurelia impact crater on Venus

. The unusual crater shapes on Venus are illustrated in this Magellan radar image of the Aurelia crater. Like the large impact craters on the Moon, it contains a circular rim, terraced walls and a central peak. But unlike lunar craters, lobate flows emanate from the ejecta, and a sector of the flow is missing, apparently due to an oblique impact from the upper-left. Interaction with the dense, thick atmosphere on Venus caused the ejected debris to act like a fluid, producing the lacy, rounded lobes of ejecta. Crater Aurelia, which is 32 thousand meters in diameter, has been named in honor of the mother of Julius Caesar; apparently, Aurelia is also the name of Arnold Schwarzenegger's mother. (Courtesy of JPL and NASA.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University