The Grand Canyon … of Mars

marsglobe_viking_960This picture was stitched together from over 100 images taken by the Viking Orbiters back in the ’70s. It shows the largest canyon in the Solar System cutting a wide swath across the face of Mars. Valles Marineris is over 3,000 km long, is as much as 600 km across, and is as much as 8 km deep. The Earth’s Grand Canyon is 800 km long, 30 km wide, and not quite 2 km deep. The origin of the Valles Marineris remains a mystery, although a leading hypothesis holds that it started as a crack billions of years ago as the planet cooled.

Image Credit: USGS / NASA

2 thoughts on “The Grand Canyon … of Mars

  1. It bears a certain resemblance to a certain Cabin Boy’s scarred cranium.

    But that has to be a coincidence. The Mars feature is apparently from cooling off, and CB has never cooled down in his life.

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