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Melas, Candor, and Ophir: Valleys of Mariner

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Melas, Candor, and Ophir: Valleys of Mariner


First imaged by the Mariner 9 spacecraft,
Valles Marineris,
the grand canyon
of Mars,
is a system of enormous depressions or chasmas
some 4,000 kilometers along the Martian equator.

Looking north over the
canyon's central regions,
dark Melas Chasma lies in the
foreground of this spectacular
perspective view.

Behind it are Candor Chasma and the steep walls of Ophir Chasma near
the horizon.

Faulting, surface collapse and landslides are seen to be
part of the complex geologic history of
dramatic features
, with
layered deposits
also found within the canyon system.

Recorded in 2004,
image represents
data from
the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board ESA's
Mars Express spacecraft.

Melas, Candor and Ophir are about 200 kilometers wide
and 5 to 7 kilometers deep.

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