The European Space Agency has released this colour-coded topography map of a portion of the region known as Terra Sirenum, located in the southern hemisphere of Mars.
Those regions coloured red and white represent the highest topography and blues and purples the lowest.
The most prominent feature is the portion of uneven chaotic terrain towards the centre of the image. This is known as Atlantis Chaos, a lowland plain covering around 170 km by 145 km and containing a few hundred small peaks and flat-topped hills. They are thought to result from the slow erosion of a once-continuous solid plateau.
Scientists suspect that some of the craters and basins in this area may have once contained standing water, while channels carved into the slopes of the ancient basins provide evidence for the existence of water in this region’s past.
The ESA has also released a video (below) with which to explore this region in more detail in a new video, published today.
Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.
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