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Mars Probe Peering into a Spectacular Chasm on Mars

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Two great chasms in Mars' Valles Marineris canyon. Credit: ESA / DLR / FU Berlin CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO
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The Grand Canyon on Earth is nothing compared to a canyon on Mars.

This was a great canyon system, known as Valles Marineris, which was recently explored by the European Space Agency (ESA) using rich images of two great chasms. From above, images have been captured by the Mars Express orbiter of the European Space Agency.

  • The Ius Chasma is located on the left, which stretches over 520 miles (840 kilometres) long
  • In the right-hand corner you will see the 500-mile-long (805-kilometer-long) Tithonium Chasma on your right

There are some 4.3 miles of deep chasms within the Valles Marineris, which are just a portion of the great chasms that exist there. It would span the distance between the northern tip of Norway and the southern tip of Sicily, making it the largest canyon system in our solar system, the ESA said in a statement. The Grand Canyon can be seen in this photo from more than a mile away.

SEE ALSO: The First Webb Space Telescope Image is so Twisted, warped, and Weird

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Two great trenches in Mars' Valles Marineris, Ius Chasma and Tithonium Chasma. Credit: ESA / DLR / FU Berlin CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Two great trenches in Mars’ Valles Marineris, Ius Chasma and Tithonium Chasma. Credit: ESA / DLR / FU Berlin CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

 

 

mars: A map showing the section of Valles Marineris imaged by the Mars Express orbiter. Credit: NASA / MGS / MOLA Science Team

A map showing the section of Valles Marineris imaged by the Mars Express orbiter. Credit: NASA / MGS / MOLA Science Team

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ESA believes that the great chasms are the result of ancient tectonic plate movement causing the old tectonic plates to separate and move apart, which formed these great chasms. A mid-Atlantic ridge is a place where tectonic plates are currently moving apart at the present time on geologically-active Earth.

The geological activity on Mars has slowed considerably over the last few decades, but it still hasn’t dried up completely. It has been discovered that there are still large quakes shaking the Martian land, possibly caused by magma that is welling up and stressing the surface of the planet. Over 1,300 quakes have been detected by NASA’s InSight probe so far on Mars (as of early May 2022) according to the probe.

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SEE ALSO: SpaceX Launched 46 Starlink Satellites Into Space, Breaking Its Annual Record

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