Scientists puzzle over ‘mysterious shapes’ inside Martian crater

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Mars offers many great mysteries. Has it ever hosted microbial life? There is Hidden “lakes” under the polar cap? But the Red Planet also has some interesting little secrets, like what’s going on inside a series of craters in Arabia Terra, the northern part of Mars.

NASA The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured some aerial views of the craters on Arabia Terra using its HiRise camera. A member of the HiRise team, the craters in question “contain strange sediments with mysterious shapes and distributions.” Paul Geisler wrote this week. HiRise It is run by researchers at the University of Arizona.

Here’s a closer look at one of the representative craters with exotic deposits seen by MRO’s HiRise camera on Arabia Terra.

NASA, JPL-Caltech, UArizona

There are many components to the crater mystery. “These deposits have horizontal layers that can be layers or terraces,” Geisler writes. They also have bright ridges that radiate outward. Peculiar deposits appear only on the south side of craters greater than 1,970 ft (600 m) in diameter. Smaller apertures do not have them.

The distinct shapes are a bit confusing, but one possible explanation is related to the sublimation of icy materials on Mars (sublimation is the direct conversion of a solid into a gas). “Terraces may represent different periods of sublimation,” Geisler writes. “Perhaps the larger craters penetrated to a level between 45 and 60 meters below the surface and sank after formation.”

Mars is in great exaltation. A great example can be found in “Happy face openingA crater was found in the icy region of the planet’s south pole. Glacial sublimation has changed the appearance of the crater – and the smiling face inside – over time.

The crater puzzle combines some of my favorite things about Mars: strange formations, beautiful images, a possible connection to the planet’s water history, and a plausible scientific explanation. Altogether, it’s a lovely puzzle of the Little Red Planet.

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