Stunning new Mars photos explore the solar system’s largest canyon: The Mars Express probe, which is operated by the European Space Agency, has taken some stunning new pictures of Valles Marineris.
The Valles Marineris canyon system on Mars is the greatest canyon system in the solar system, and recent photographs of the red planet reveal its depths for the first time.
In addition, the photos obtained by the European Space Agency (ESA), which were captured by the spacecraft’s High-Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), show an extraordinary level of detail on the canyon bottom. In contrast to the Grand Canyon, which was produced by the Colorado River’s erosion, the Valles Marineris is thought to have originated as a result of tectonic plates moving away from one another. As a result of the dramatic activity that occurred on the surface of Mars, the floor of the canyon became jagged, as can be seen in the new photographs.
ESA officials noted in a statement that accompanied the newly released photographs that “the jagged floor of Ius Chasma is similarly interesting.” This statement can be found in a new tab. “It appears that the movement of tectonic plates generated the formation of jagged triangles of rock that resemble a row of shark teeth when the plates moved apart. These granite formations have broken apart and been degraded throughout the course of time.”
Ius Chasma and Tithonium Chasma are two trenches that are a component of western Valles Marineris that were observed in more detail by the Mars Express satellite of the European Space Agency (ESA), which has been orbiting the Red Planet since 2003. Not only do the photographs capture an astonishing level of surface detail, but they also bring to light the enormous extent of the trenches.
According to a statement made by the ESA, Valles Marineris is approximately ten times longer, twenty times wider, and five times deeper than the Grand Canyon. The length of Valles Marineris is 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometres), and its width is 124 miles (200 kilometres). Its depth is 4.3 miles (7 kilometres).
The length of the Tithonium Chasma on the north side of the canyon is 500 miles (1,055 kilometres), while the length of the bus Chasma on the south side of the canyon is 522 miles (840 kilometres). As a point of reference, the length of the Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km), and at its deepest point, it is slightly over a mile. According to the assertion, if Valles Marineris existed on Earth, its length would extend all the way from the most northern point of Norway to the most southern point of Sicily.
The ESA’s view of the two chasms captures the diverse surface features of Mars, including dark sand dunes that were created by nearby volcanic activity, mountain-size mounds that have been eroded by wind, smaller bumps that may have formed from the evaporation of water that once filled the chasma, and evidence of a recent landslide that was caused by the collapse of the canyon wall.
A number of satellites that have investigated Valles Marineris have uncovered evidence that suggests the canyon was previously filled with liquid water at one point. The Mars Express mission found indications of water-bearing sulphate minerals in the region of Ius Chasma and Tithonium Chasma. At the same time, the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), which is a part of the ExoMars mission, discovered water ice beneath the surface of Candor Chaos, which is located near the centre of the massive canyon system.