Astronomy Picture of the Day

Steep Cliffs on Mars

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Steep Cliffs on Mars

Vertical cliffs of nearly two kilometers
occur near the North Pole of Mars.

Also visible in the
above image of the Martian
North Polar Cap
are red areas of rock and sand, white areas of ice, and dark areas
of unknown composition but hypothesized to be
volcanic ash.

The cliffs are thought to border volcanic

Although the sheer drop
of the Martian cliffs is extreme,
the drop is not as deep as other areas in our
Solar System,
including the 3.4-kilometer depth of
Colca Canyon
on Earth and the 20 kilometer depth of Verona Rupes
on Uranus' moon Miranda.

The above image, digitally reconstructed into a
perspective view, was taken by the
High Resolution Stereo Camera on board the
ESA's robotic
Mars Express spacecraft currently orbiting

Check out:
Venus and Saturn in tonight's evening sky.

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