If you’re also fascinated about the Grand Canyon from Arizona, it means that you’re a normal human being. But you must know that the majestic structure pales in comparison with another canyon present elsewhere in the Solar System. The good old Mars proves to us all once again that it has another recipe for doing things.
USA Today comes to tell us about the imposing Valles Marineris Canyon from Mars, one that goes across the planet’s equator for about 2,500 miles. To put it another way, if the canyon would magically teleport itself in the United States, it will reach all the way from New York City to San Francisco. We’re talking about the biggest canyon in the Solar System, and it’s still a mystery how the structure formed.
HiRISE has risen
Thanks to HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment), which is the most powerful camera sent to another planet, and one of six instruments onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, we have a new photo of the Valles Marineris Canyon:
ESA (the European Space Agency) issued the following statement:
As the Tharsis bulge swelled with magma during the planet’s first billion years, the surrounding crust was stretched, ripping apart and eventually collapsing into the gigantic troughs of Valles Marineris,
ESA scientists still try to explain how the canyon could form:
Unlike Earth’s Grand Canyon, Valles Marineris probably wasn’t carved out by billions of years of rushing water; the Red Planet is too hot and dry to have ever accommodated a river large enough to slash through the crust like that.
Let’s just hope that humanity will be able to organize trips to Mars in the near future so that anybody can admire the Valles Marineris canyon up-close.