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Mosaic of Valles Marineris from the Viking Orbiter 1, reproduced at a scale of 80 meters/pixel.
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Image from: Malin Space Science Systems

Steep slopes of Valles Marineris

Better images returned by the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft allow a closer look of this unusual canyon. As shown here, slopes seem to descend steeply to the north and south in broad, debris-filled gullies with intervening rocky spurs, just like canyons on Earth.

These images indicate that there may have been a complicated and active early history for geologic processes on Mars.

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Valles Marineris

Next to the Tharsis Ridge is Valles Marineris, a very long canyon of Mars. As can be seen in the image, many huge ancient rivers extend toward the top of the image. The three Tharsis volcanoes (dark red...more

Martian Volcanoes

On this map of Mars, the lightly cratered Tharsis Ridge is shown, as well as the heavily cratered Martian highlands (near the bottom of the picture), and Valles Marineris to the right. The volcanoes are...more

The Transfer of Water in Martian History

On Mars, the water is trapped, frozen, within the ground. Nevertheless, there is evidence for running water on Mars. When the water is melted and released to the surface, it will run from higher ground...more

The Martian Cryosphere

The drawing shows the depth at which water may be frozen into the ground. To have water running on the surface of Mars, this water region must be near to the surface. This may have happened at various...more

Martian Floods

Separate from the Martian outflow channels, or the river valleys, are large Martian lakes (600 km, or ~1000 miles across) which once were part of a flood. ...more

Martian Fog

This picture shows fog on Mars. More fog has been seen in images returned by Mars Global Surveyor of the south polar region of Mars. Martian fog may have a little bit of acid mixed in with the water drops....more

Martian Orbital Eccentricity

The orbit of Mars is very oval shaped. The orbit is much more oval shaped than the Earth's orbit. This means that the climate of Mars can change drastically between warm and cold. ...more

Martian Storm

This is an image of a storm moving across the Martian land. The camera is looking down on the storm, the same way storms are presented on the news. The storm provides evidence that there is water on Mars....more

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