The Floodplains on Mars

The Floodplains on Mars

Kasei Valles mosaic large.jpg

Here are some amazing pictures from the ESA's Mars Express spacecraft. It shows part of the floodplain on Mars known as the Kasei Valles. This is an enormous 3,000 kilometre long outflow system that drops 3km along it's length. The picture is about half of the system. 

This picture shows you how much of the Martian surface is included in the picture above, as you can see it is a sizeable plot of land.

Kasei Valles context small.jpg

This picture looks downstream. In the distance (top right of middle) you can see a partially eroded crater from the gushing water. This is the 100km wide Sharonov crater. Interestingly, small craters on the riverbed floor seem to have bright "tails" that flow in an upstream direction. These craters impacted after the water had gone and the tails are caused by dust being blown from the prevailing "upstream" wind.

Kasei Valles perspective view large.jpg

These pictures beautifully demonstrate to me the once powerful river of water that must have flowed through this region many years ago. Seeing this is intriguing as it makes the possibility of life outside our own planet more tangible.

Images by: ESA

Find more on: Astronomy Science and News

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