Mars Express Probe Shows Further Evidence of the Red Planet’s Watery Past

New images of a crater on Mars has been released providing further evidence that water once flowed on the Red Planet, according to new research from the European Space Agency (ESA).

A perspective view across a 70 km-wide crater captured by ESA’s Mars Express showed remnants of valley networks across the scene, which could indicate that water once flowed through this region, shaping the features that can be found today.

‘Chaotic terrain’ is also visible both inside and outside the crater, marked by randomly oriented blocks separated by troughs. The research associates this with the collapse of the surface above regions where large amounts of subsurface water could have been released, for example by the sudden melting of ice.

Chaotic terrain may also mark the sites of ancient lakes, such as in Erythraeum Chaos to the north (right) of the crater in this scene, between Loire and Parana Valles.

Erythraeum Chaos

The scene is a composite of two images taken in March 2007 and February 2017. It focuses on a large crater in the Margaritifer Terra region in the southern hemisphere of Mars and includes a portion of Erythraeum Chaos to the north (right in the main colour image above).

The region is located at the northern edge of Noachis Terra, which at 3.7–4 billion years old, represents some of the oldest and most heavily cratered terrains on Mars.

Mars Crater

Discover the satellites that are shaping our future

Get your OPENSPACE 23 copy and read about the latest news in the space engineering, security, concurrent design, and information technology industries.