Shop Windows to the Universe

With Explore the Planets, investigate the planets, their moons, and understand the processes that shape them. By G. Jeffrey Taylor, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.
This image shows some of the cratered terrain of Mars.
Click on image for full size
NASA

Martian Cratered Terrain

This is an example of the cratered surface of Mars. Almost all of the surface of Mars is covered with craters.

Craters can be wiped out over time, so a surface which has many craters is very old. The lowlands of Mars have fewer craters, and seem to be younger than the highlands of Mars, which have many craters and is a very old portion of Mars. The highlands of Mars are in the south, which means that the southern region is the oldest portion of Mars.

The Tharsis Ridge, where the volcanoes of Mars are found, is lightly cratered, which means that it is also a younger portion of Mars.

This cratering pattern provides evidence for the possibility of continental drift early in the history of Mars.


Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, as well as books on science education!

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

The History of Martian Volcanoes

During its earliest history, Mars was hit with many asteroid-like boulders. The impacts of these boulders caused Mars to become warm enough for continents to drift across the surface just as they do on...more

Newly Discovered Martian Lakes and Canyon!

Lakes and a river have been found in the highlands of Mars. They wouldn't be good places for a swim because there isn't any water in them! But the scientists know that there was probably water there a...more

Mars Express - Beagle 2 Lander

The European Space Agency (ESA) launched a mission to Mars in June of 2003. The mission is called "Mars Express". The Mars Express spacecraft has two parts. One part will orbit Mars for at least one Martian...more

Overview of the Mars Express Mission

The European Space Agency (ESA) launched a mission to Mars in June of 2003. The mission is called "Mars Express". The Mars Express spacecraft has two parts. One part will orbit Mars for at least one Martian...more

Mars Express Landing Site - Isidis Planitia

The European Space Agency (ESA) launched a mission to Mars in June of 2003. The mission is called "Mars Express". The Mars Express spacecraft has two parts. One part will orbit Mars for at least one Martian...more

Isidis Planitia

Isidis Planitia is the name of a place on Mars. Isidis Planitia is a very flat plain. It is inside the bottom of a very old crater. Isidis Planitia is big. It is about 1,500 km (930 miles) across. That...more

The Climate of Mars

Mars is not quite right for life as we know it on Earth. On a cold planet like Mars, water can become frozen into the ground. This water can only be turned into running water when the weather is warm enough....more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA