International Journal of Mars Research | ISSN 2453-8760 | Current Issue: 12 Volume 4

Ancient river with crater

On the northern hemisphere of Mars, in the region called Hephaestus Fossae can be seen mysterious ancient river which was most probably interrupted by some kind of meteorite. The remains of this can be seen on the image above (credit ESA, click here for full resolution). The image was taken by Mars Express orbiter few years ago. The colours on image are describing the deep areas and the terrain itself.

The deepest place here is 4 km deep. Scattered across the scene are a few dozen impact craters that cover a wide range of sizes, with the largest boasting a diameter of around 20 km.

Based on the lack of structures near the small craters in this image, scientists believe that only the most powerful impacts – those responsible for forging the largest craters – were able to dig deep enough to release part of the frozen reservoir of water lying beneath the surface.

source: ESA

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5 Responses to Ancient river with crater

  • user says:

    This definitely looks like real river from the past times. Nice delta formed by this river seems to be connected to part of the region where once could be more water I think.

    • Jozef Kozar
      Jozef Kozar says:

      The river was probably created by water which was melted from the soil in the area of the impact. The malting of the ice was initiated by impact itself – after very short time the water disappeared in the soil and atmosphere again, but in the short time of existence it has created this “river”.

        • Jozef Kozar says:

          Hello Allan … meteorites and asteroids usually come from the asteroid belt, which lies between the orbit of Mars and Jupiter .. in this area there are millions of such “small” rocks … some of these from time to time escape from this area and then these are travelling on elliptical orbit through the whole solar system .. Planets like Mars and also other inner planets can be hit by these bodies – our planet Earth is protected by its atmosphere, where smaller parts burns and we can simply see them like “falling star” on night sky, but some of them can also hit the ground (remember the larger meteorite felt in Russia short time ago?) .. ok back to Mars – this planet does not have such strong atmosphere, so more rocks (meteorites) and also asteroids can easily hit the ground … Martian soil contains water which is frozen there and when there is impact like this one, then by influence of heat created by the impact can melt the soil (and water inside), the soil itself is broken by the crash and then you can see the result – like the image in this article …

          • allan says:

            Thank you for explanation Jozef, it is interesting. Maybe that there can be found some traces of microbial life in the frozen water. Who knows, maybe once!