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Recent Landslide on Mars

Article written: 4 Jun , 2007
Updated: 26 Dec , 2015
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With more advanced optics in orbit around Mars, we’re getting better and better pictures showing how the planet is more active than scientists ever imagined. Here’s a cool photograph of a recent landslide in a region of Mars called Zunil Crater. It was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) on board NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Zunil Crater is a well-preserved impact crater approximately 10 km (6 miles) across. Because it’s so well preserved, scientists think the crater was carved out by a meteor impact less than 10 million years ago – that’s young, considering some of the craters on Mars are billions of years old.

The false colour on the image shows that the landslide occurred very recently. Unlike the surrounding terrain, it hasn’t be covered by the dust that coats everything on Mars. This makes the reflectiveness, or albedo, different from the regions around it. Scientists think a recent Marsquake or another tiny meteor impact could have triggered the slide.

Original Source: HiRISE News Release


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