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ESA releases a new image of Mars taken by ExoMarsTMGO

ESA releases a new image of Mars taken by ExoMarsTMGO

The European Space Agency (ESA), has released a new image showing signs of ‘geology and motion’ on Mars. The image, the first to be released in 2022, was captured by CaSSIS onboard the ESA/Roscosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. (TGO) 3 August 2020.

This stunning image from TGO shows Noctis Labyrinthus. It is a large valley system located at the western end the Valles Marineris canyon network. It was taken over the easternmost part of Noctis Labyrinthus in the Phoenicis Lacus Quadrangle, near the intersection with Lus Chasma of Valles Marineris – the ‘grand canyon’ of the Red Planet.

As DescriptionESA says the cliff-like structure in the central part of the image is part the horst–graben network. This system comprises raised ridges or plateaus (horst), either side of sunken Valleys (graben), which were created as a result tectonic forces that tore the planet’s crust apart. Labyrinthus covers approximately 1200km. Individual cliffs reach 5km above the surface.

Zooming in on this picture will reveal several boulders that fell from the cliff edge. These small dimples are caused by the soft material as they tumble down-slope.

Roscosmos and ESA will jointly carry out the ExoMars TGO mission. Its primary objective is to find evidence of methane or other trace atmospheric gases that could indicate active biological and geological processes on Mars.

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