NASA/JPL and the University of Arizona have released these brilliant new images describing the largest canyon in the solar system: Valles Marineris on Mars. The canyon system is more than 4,000 kilometers long and 7 kilometers deep, which is nearly 10 times the Earth’s Grand Canyon and three times the depth. These images were taken by the ultra-high resolution camera HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. From Space.com:
Unlike Earth’s Grand Canyon, Valles Marineris may not have been washed away by billions of years of flooding. The red planet is too hot and too dry to hold a river large enough to cut through the crust like this. However, researchers from the European Space Agency (ESA) say there is evidence that moving water may have deepened the existence of some canyons hundreds of millions of years ago by TV channels.
ESA said that billions of years ago, when a nearby super volcano in the area called Tharsis first ejected from Martian soil, most of the canyon may have split. According to the bubbles of magma emerging from these giant volcanoes (including the largest volcano in the solar system, Olympus Mons), it is easy to stretch the earth’s crust, split and eventually collapse to form the Vales Marinaris today. Valleys and valleys. ESA.