A close-up of the giant crack that almost splits Mars – Behind The Black – Robert Zimmerman

Cool image time! The picture to the right, rotated, cropped, reduced, and sharpened to post here, was taken on June 28, 2023 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The intended science focus of the image is likely the floor of this canyon on the lower right, showing what appears to be a patch of uprised topography surrounded by what looks like glacial debris, which at this latitude of 39 degrees north is expected on Mars.

The grade at this location is downhill to the southwest, so if this is a glacier it is flowing in that direction. 

The cliff is about 3,000 feet high, dropping that distance in about a mile and a half. Thus, this is only slightly less steep than the very steep cliff wall of the caldera of Olympus Mons, highlighted as a cool image two days ago.

What makes this canyon interesting — besides its spectacular scenery — is its larger context, recognized  when one looks at this location from afar and thus sees how it shaped a vast portion of the global surface of Mars…..

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