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Photos: Huge Scar Discovered on Mars

Photos: Huge Scar Discovered on Mars

(NewsNation) — Photos from the European Space Agency show a massive scar on Mars oozing lava larger than our own Grand Canyon.

The 600-kilometer-long crack in the Martian surface, also known as Aganippe Fossa, is a graben — a “trench-like slot with steep walls on either side.”


Images taken with the Mars Express High Resolution Stereo Camera show the scar cutting through the marbled base of one of the largest volcanoes on Mars, Arsia Mons, in the volcanically rich Tharsis region of the Red Planet.

“We still don’t know how and when Aganippe Fossa formed, but it seems likely that it was created by magma rising beneath the colossal mass of the Tharsis volcanoes, stretching and tearing the Martian crust,” ESA said in a press release.

The Red Planet’s surface shows many more dents, scratches and scars, including the nail-biting marks of Tantalus Fossae, a massive fracture system and the Valles Marineris canyon system.

Mars Express has been orbiting Mars since 2003, imaging the red surface, mapping the thin atmosphere and minerals on the planet.