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Clusters of Recent Craters in Mars’s Ares Vallis

October 11, 2011 Leave a comment

Credits: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)

Credits: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)

Newly released images taken by ESA’s Mars Express show an unusual accumulation of young craters in the large outflow channel called Ares Vallis. Older craters have been reduced to ghostly outlines by the scouring effects of ancient water.

In the distant past, probably over 3.8 billion years ago, large volumes of water must have rushed through the Ares Vallis with considerable force. Mars Express imaged the preserved aftermath of this scene on 11 May 2011.

The prominent Oraibi crater lies in the channel and is about 32 km across. It is filled with sediments and its southern rim has been eroded by water. NASA’s Pathfinder mission landed in this region in 1997, 100 km to the north of the crater and off the right-hand side of this image.

Full Story: http://www.esa.int/export/esaSC/SEMGJB9U7TG_index_0.html