Saturday , October 16 2021

ESA beam probes introduce the Mars landscape formed by water, wind and ice

LONDON: The Mars Express Space Agency investigation has re-ignited images of interesting parts of the surface of the Red Planet – a rocky, fragmented, wrinkled stretch formed by wind, water and flowing ice.

Lying in the borders of the northern and southern hemisphere, this region is an example of past activity on the planet.

Mars is a planet with two parts. In some places, the planet's northern hemisphere is a few kilometers lower than the south; this clear topographic split is known as the dichotomy of Mars, and is a very distinctive feature on the surface of the Red Planet.

North Mars also shows a large area of ​​fine land, while the southern part of the planet is very full of spots and is spread with craters.

This is thought to be the result of past volcanic activity, which has reawakened parts of Mars to create a suburb in the north – and left other ancient and untouched areas.

Crusty, rock-filled cliffs known as Nili Fossae, are located on this north-south border, the researchers said.

This area is filled with rocky valleys, small hills, and a collection of flat landscapes (known as mesas in geological terms), with several pieces of crustal rock that looks pressed to the surface creating a number of known sewer-like features. as a graben.

As with many surrounding environments, and despite Mars's reputation as a dry and dry world today, water is believed to have played a key role in carving Nili Fossae through ongoing erosion.

In addition to visual cues, signs of past interactions with water have been seen in the west (above) of this image – instruments such as the OMEGA Mars Express spectrometer & # 39; have seen clay minerals here, which is a key indicator that water was present.

The height of Nili Fossae and its surroundings, shown in the topographic view above, varies somewhat; the area to the left and bottom left (south) sits higher than to the other side of the frame (north), describing the dichotomy.

This highland area seems to consist mostly of rocky plateaus, while the lowlands consist of smaller rocks, mesas, hills, and more, with two parts roughly separated by erosion and valley channels.

This split is considered the result of material that moved on Mars hundreds of millions of years ago. Similar to glaciers on Earth, the flow of water and ice cuts through the Martian field and slowly carves and erodes it from time to time, also carrying material with them.

In the case of Nili Fossae, this is carried from a higher to a lower area, with pieces of resistant rock and the remaining hard material is largely intact but shifts down the slope to form the visible mesa and landscape today.

The shapes and structures scattered throughout this image are thought to have formed from time to time by the flow of not only water and ice, but also wind.

An example can be seen in this picture in surface patches that look very dark against the ocher background, as if stained with charcoal or ink.

This is a darker volcanic sand region, which has been transported and deposited by current Mars winds. The wind moves sand and dust around frequently on the surface of Mars, creating sandbars across the planet and forming multi-patchy colored fields such as Nili Fossae.

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