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This is what the largest crack in the Grand Canyon of Mars looks like

This is what the largest crack in the Grand Canyon of Mars looks like

This “scar” of the red planet is about 600 kilometers long.

A satellite orbiting Mars, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Mars Express* probe, has captured a huge crack on the Red Planet in unprecedented detail. The gorge, called Aganippe Fossa, is about 600 kilometers long, making it larger than even the Grand Canyon, which is 446 kilometers long (but far smaller than Valles Marineris, the longest chasm on Mars and in the Solar System, at 4,000 kilometers).

*Mars Express, launched in 2003, was originally supposed to remain in service until December 2005, but the mission was extended (several times), and it is still sending images and data back to Earth today, having now orbited the planet more than 25,000 times.

Although astronomers discovered it nearly a hundred years ago, this was the first time they were able to image it up close – it looks like this:

There is no consensus among experts on how the ominous valley was formed. Some believe it was created by tectonic movement, while others believe it may have been the result of a volcanic eruption.

The Aganebi Crater is located in the Tharsis region, which occupies about a quarter of Mars' surface, and is not far from the largest known mountain in the Solar System and also its shield volcano, Olympus Mons (Mount Olympus).

(source: IFL Science(Image: ESA/DLR/VO Berlin)

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