Mental Floss

Space porn from Mars

Ransom Riggs
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Despite Christopher Guest's musical assertion that "nothing ever happens on Mars, it's boring, boring boring" (from Waiting for Guffman), all these Mars missions of late have been returning some really incredible, eye-popping photographs (and stereographs, and spectrographs, etc). Being the space lover that I am, I felt it was high time to do a greatest hits. So here goes:

Deuteronilus Mensae, 39° North by 23° East

The scene is dominated by a depression measuring about 2,000 meters deep and 110 kilometers in diameter. It was photographed by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board the European satellite Mars Express.

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The resolution on this photograph is about 11 meters per pixel, which should give you some sense of the enormous scale here: the scarp is up to six kilometers high in places.

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Its interior shows a surface which is shaped by wind activity as seen in numerous dunes and dark dust devil tracks which blew away the bright dusty surface coating.

Thanks to the ESA for the images.

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