Stunning new 3D images of Mars‘ ‘Grand Canyon’ have been captured by the European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) Mars Express. The details give clues to its volcanic beginnings.
Images © ESA
Above image: The deep valley Hebes Chasma, is a strange 196-mile (315km) scar on the northern edge of the Valles Marineris canyon.
Above video: Fly-through Hebes Chasma
Glide through part of the largest canyon on Mars, Valles Marineris, in this stunning colour movie from ESA‘s Mars Express.
Valles Marineris is not just the largest canyon on Mars, but at 4000 km long, 200 km wide and 10 km deep it is the largest in the entire Solar System.
The movie focuses on an enclosed 8 km-deep trough in the northern most part of Valles Marineris, called Hebes Chasma.
The movie glides over impact craters pockmarking the plains separating the troughs, down cliff faces scarred by landslides, and along the rough valley floor.
A horseshoe-shaped chunk has been taken out of one side of the mound (left in this image); the material has slumped down onto the floor of the valley below.
The mosaic of Hebes Chasma is composed of eight single images taken with the High Resolution Stereo Camera on Mars Express (left). Scientists hope that Hebes Chasma and its neighbouring network of canyons could provide new insights into Mars’ ancient geological upheaval. A colour-coded topography map (right) shows the relative heights and depths of features in and around the Hebes Chasma.
The Hebes Chasma is located at about 1°S / 284°E, and 300 km north of Valles. Its layers include volcanic materials but also wind-blow dust and lake sediments that were laid down over time.