About 87 million miles (140 million km) above Grand CanyonA larger and larger abyss, penetrating the bowels of the Red Planet. Known as Valles Marineris, this system of deep and wide canyons is more than 2,500 miles (4,000 km) along the Martian equator, and stretches nearly a quarter of the planet’s circumference. This wound is in the bedrock Mars It is nearly 10 times the length of the Grand Canyon on Earth and three times deeper, making it the largest single canyon in Solar System And according to ongoing research from the University of Arizona (UA) in Tucson, one of the most obscure ones.
Using an incredibly high-resolution camera called HiRISE (short for High Resolution Imaging Scientific Experiment) aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, UA scientists have taken close-up shots of the planet’s strangest features since 2006. Despite some really stunning photos of Valles Marineris – like the one below , Published on HiRISE December 26, 2020 – Scientists are still unsure how the Giant Canyon Complex formed.
Unlike LandThe Grand Canyon, Vallis Mariners may not have been carved with billions of years of flowing water. The Red Planet is too hot and dry to take in a river big enough to break the crust like this – however, European Space Agency (ESA) researchers saidThere is evidence that the flowing water may have deepened some of the canals in the valley hundreds of millions of years ago.
The majority of the valley likely had opened billions of years before then, when a super group was close to Volcanoes The European Space Agency, known as the Tharsis region, was first exiting the Martian soil. Magma also erupted beneath these monstrous volcanoes (which include Olympus Mons, The largest volcano in the Solar System), the planet’s crust could have easily stretched, torn apart and finally collapsed in the basins and valleys that make up Valles Marineris today, according to the European Space Agency.
Evidence suggests that subsequent landslides, magma flows, and even some ancient rivers may have contributed to the valley’s continued erosion over the following eons. Additional analysis of high-resolution images like this will help solve the bewildering origin story of the largest valley in the solar system.
Originally published on Live Science.