Giant claw marks on the surface of Mars? We have new photos!

In new photos taken by satellite Mars Express Orbiterwhich belongs to the European Space Agency is visible a gigantic system of faults and ditcheswhich may look like “claw marks”. The area is known as Tantalus Fossae. The unique geological feature of this fragment of Mars has now been shown in more detail.

Tectonic ditches They are up to 350 meters deep and 10 kilometers wide, and can extend up to 1,000 kilometers.

The picture stayed generated from a digital terrain model Mars and using a high-resolution stereo camera belonging to ESA Mars Express. The “photo” shows the colors that we would see if we could see the area with our own eyes.

An enormous network of faults developed as it took shape Wulkan Alba Mons. Its elevation caused stresses in the Martian crust, with time the crust cracked, creating a multi-kilometer network of tectonic ditches (humps).

They run from the northeast to the southwest. It is believed that these structures did not arise at the same time, but one after another. This gave scientists an opportunity reconstruction of geological history this area.

A large impact crater, in the center of the images, is cut by ditches. This indicates that he was already presentbefore the volcano and tectonic ditch system formed.

Alba Mons’s volcano shield volcano (wide and flattened cone, no violent eruptions). It is the largest volcano on Mars by surface area, with lava flow fields that extend at least 1,350 km from its summit. His the surface is comparable to that of the United Statesalthough its height is “only” 6,800 m.

It is an unmanned space mission The European Space Agency. Its main goal is to study Mars. The mission includes the Mars Express Orbiter – MEO and the Beagle 2 lander.

Task MEO is i.a. photographing the planet’s surface using a high-resolution camera and studying the composition of the atmosphere.

Beagle Lander 2 was to carry out geological and atmospheric research and looked for traces of Martian life. However, the landing attempt was unsuccessful (in 2003) and the lander was declared lost.