There are still so many things we don’t know about Mars, but thanks to some recently released photos, we have a much better look at the equivalent of the Grand Canyon of the Red Planet. However, this is not exactly true: that of Mars – called Vales Marineris – is nearly 10 times longer and three times deeper than ours on Earth. And while scientists still don’t know how the canyon formed, these new ones images from current research in University of Arizona (UA) in Tucson provides a few more clues. Here’s how to view photos outside the world (sorry).
What makes this canyon so special?
Basically, these are two things: it’s massive and mysterious. At Space.com:
Known as Vales Marineris, this system of deep, vast canyons travels more than 2,500 miles (4,000 km) along the Martian equator, covering nearly a quarter of the planet’s orbit. This breakthrough in the rock of Mars is nearly 10 times longer than the Grand Canyon on Earth and three times deeper, making it the largest canyon in the solar system and … one of the most mysterious.
Given how hot and dry it is on Mars, scientists do not believe that Vales Marineris was carved from running water, such as the Grand Canyon. However, researchers from European Space Agency (ESA) have said there is evidence that running water may have deepened some of the canyon’s existing canals – although that would have been hundreds of millions of years ago.
How to see new images of the canyon of Mars
These are the last photos released using an incredibly high-resolution camera called HiRISE (short for High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment), which is aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. To view these or any other images of the canyon (or taken by a Mars intelligence orbiter), visit the University of Arizona at the Tucson HiRISE website.