On the day of America’s most-watched sporting event, NASA has dabbled in a spot of wordplay and posted a feature highlighting “10 impressively super, bowl-shaped venues adorning worlds in our solar system.”
Mars’ Stickney Crater. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
The list includes the extraordinary Stickney Crater on Phobos, one of the two moons of Mars.
It’s about 6 miles (10 km) in diameter and even has a smaller crater inside it.
Keeping with the Super Bowl theme, NASA’s Amanda Barnett writes: “Note that if the average speed of an NFL throw is 50-60 mph, and the escape velocity of Phobos is 25 mph, then it’s conceivable that a pro quarterback could throw a ball right off Phobos and into orbit around Mars.”
Occator Crater on Ceres. NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA
Located between Mars and Jupiter, the tiny dwarf planet of Ceres is home to Occator Crater, an impact site 57 miles (92 km) across and 2.5 miles (4 km) deep. The crater is the brightest spot on Ceres, a feature the result of its highly reflective salt deposits.
Mars’ Jezero Crater. ESA/DLR/FU-Berlin
Jezero Crater has become something of a celebrity since the start of NASA’s Perseverance Mars mission last year. Jezero, a dried lake bed, was the landing location for the Perseverance rover in February 2021, and the site is now being explored by the vehicle in the hope of discovering evidence of ancient microbial life on the distant planet.
Rather less bowl-like than some of the craters we see here, Jezero is 28 miles (45 kilometers) wide and exists within Mars’ Isidis Planitia region, the site of an ancient meteorite impact that left behind a large crater some 750 miles (1200 kilometers) across. A subsequent, smaller meteorite strike within the Isidis impact basin led to the creation of the Jezero Crater.
Mead Crater on Venus. NASA/JPL
At 170 miles (2745 km) across, Mead Crater on Venus is one of the planet’s largest impact sites and was created by a massive collision that took place between 300 million and a billion years ago. The remarkable image of the crater (above) was created using a collection of radar…