Flyover Mars’s ‘Labyrinth of Night’

Flyover Mars Labyrinth of Night, one of the most striking areas on the Red Planet, with Mars Express spacecraft.

Nestled between the colossal Martian ‘Grand Canyon’ (Valles Marineris) and the tallest volcanoes in the Solar System (the Tharsis region) lies Noctis Labyrinthus – a vast system of deep and steep valleys that stretches out for around 1190 km (roughly the length of Italy here on Earth).

This video visualizes a flight over the eastern part of Noctis Labyrinthus as seen by Mars Express’s High-Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC). It presents a perspective view down and across this fascinating landscape, showing distinctive ‘graben’ – parts of the crust that have subsided in relation to their surroundings.

The highest plateaus seen here represent the original surface level before chunks of surface fell away. The intersecting canyons and valleys are up to 30 km wide and six km deep. In many places, gigantic landslides can be seen covering the valley slopes and floors, while other valley slopes show large dune fields created by sands blown both down and upslope by Martian winds.