Per­spec­tive view of the frac­ture sys­tem in Utopia Plani­tia

Per­spec­tive view of the frac­ture sys­tem in Utopia Plani­tia
Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin - CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO.

Perspective view of the fracture system in Utopia Planitia

This per­spec­tive an­gle view was cal­cu­lat­ed by the stereo chan­nels of the High Res­o­lu­tion Stereo Cam­era op­er­at­ed by the Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter on board the Eu­ro­pean Mars Ex­press space­craft. A net­work of huge frac­tures cov­ers the buried im­pact basin of Utopia Plani­tia. It mea­sures 2000 kilo­me­tres in di­am­e­ter and is lo­cat­ed in the Mar­tian North­ern Low­lands. These sur­face struc­tures, re­ferred to as poly­gons, would sug­gest that an ocean once ex­ist­ed here.

This perspective angle view was calculated by the stereo channels of the High Resolution Stereo Camera operated by the German Aerospace Center on board the European Mars Express spacecraft. A network of huge fractures covers the buried impact basin of Utopia Planitia. It measures 2000 kilometres in diameter and is located in the Martian Northern Lowlands. These surface structures, referred to as polygons, would suggest that an ocean once existed here.

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