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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 the entire 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 southern hemisphere, which means that the southern hemisphere 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.


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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