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Mars-Orbiting Spacecraft Captures ‘Snaking Scar’ Throughout the Base of Monumental Volcano

A high-resolution digicam system aboard the Mars Express Orbiter has returned beautiful photographs of “snaking” gashes throughout the foot of Arsia Mons, one of many pink planet’s huge volcanoes.

The European Space Agency (ESA) clocked Mars’ deep, uneven scar at roughly 373 miles lengthy (600 km) — making it round one-and-a-third occasions the size of the Grand Canyon. People first documented the characteristic in 1930, and formally dubbed it Aganippe Fossa 46 years later.

“The construction, named after a spring nymph in Greek mythology, puzzles even immediately’s consultants,” mentioned the German Aerospace Center, which developed the stereo digicam aboard the 21-year-old Mars Specific spacecraft. The company added, “Some theories recommend that the ditch is tectonic in origin, whereas others declare that volcanic veins shaped throughout a late interval of exercise,” creating scar-like depressions throughout each rocky and gently sloping terrain.

For its half, the ESA mentioned Aganippe Fossa seemingly developed as “magma rising beneath the colossal mass of the [nearby] Tharsis volcanoes brought about Mars’s crust to stretch and crack.”

“A Broader View Of Aganippe Fossa” © NASA/MGS/MOLA Science Workforce

Along with the bottom of Arsia Mons — which stretches about 2 km increased than Earth’s tallest volcano — Aganippe Fossa’s gashes cross by gigantic, marble-like patterns that encompass mud and sand blown about by Martian winds, in line with the ESA.

The company captured the characteristic stereoscopically, which suggests you’ll be able to view it (and its neighboring volcano) in 3D, when you occur to have red-blue or red-green glasses useful.

Mars’ Aganippe Fossa captured in 3D © ESA/DLR/FU Berlin

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