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Mars now has the best-known current rate of cratering in the solar system," said HiRISE Principal Investigator Alfred McEwen of the University of Arizona, a co-author on the paper.
Anything that disperses the contaminant or causes it to adsorb on pigment will prevent or reduce cratering.
This ejecta would have buried most pre-existing rays (and many of the craters that formed them), so only the craters that were formed after these basins, in the waning days of intense cratering, would have had visible rays.
The amount of cratering is much higher than, I think, most anticipated and will tell us a lot about the number and sizes of small objects in the Saturn region of our solar system," comments Tommy Grav of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass.