Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
  Mars Exploration News  




Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















MARSDAILY
Mars Express Sees Deep Fractures on Mars

Nili Fossae is a graben system on Mars, northeast of the Syrtis Major volcanic province, on the northwestern edge of the giant Isidis impact basin. Some of these incisions into the martian crust are up to 500 m deep and probably formed at the same time as the basin. The High-Resolution Stereo Camera on ESA's Mars Express took this image. These perspective views have been calculated from the Digital Terrain Model derived from the stereo channels. Credits: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) May 09, 2011
Newly released images from ESA's Mars Express show Nili Fossae, a system of deep fractures around the giant Isidis impact basin. Some of these incisions into the martian crust are up to 500 m deep and probably formed at the same time as the basin.

Nili Fossae is a 'graben' system on Mars, northeast of the Syrtis Major volcanic province, on the northwestern edge of the giant Isidis impact basin. Graben refers to the lowered terrain between two parallel faults or fractures in the rocks that collapses when tectonic forces pull the area apart.

The Nili Fossae system contains numerous graben concentrically oriented around the edges of the basin.

It is thought that flooding of the basin with basaltic lava after the impact that created it resulted in subsidence of the basin floor, adding stress to the planet's crust, which was released by the formation of the fractures.

A strongly eroded impact crater is visible to the bottom right of the image. It measures about 12 km across and exhibits an ejecta blanket, usually formed by material thrown out during the impact. Two landslides have taken place to the west of the crater. Whether they were a direct result of the impact or occurred later is unknown.

A smaller crater, measuring only 3.5 km across, can be seen to the left of center in the image and this one does not exhibit any ejecta blanket material. It has either been eroded or may have been buried.

The surface material to the top left of the image is much darker than the rest of the area. It is most likely formed of basaltic rock or volcanic ash originating from the Syrtis Major region.

Such lava blankets form when large amounts of low-viscosity basaltic magma flow across long distances before cooling and solidifying. On Earth, the same phenomenon can be seen in the Deccan Traps in India.

Nili Fossae interests planetary scientists because observations taken with telescopes on the Earth and published in 2009 have shown that there is a significant enhancement in Mars' atmospheric methane over this area, suggesting that methane may be being produced there. Its origin remains mysterious, however, and could be geological or perhaps even biological.

As a result, understanding the origin of methane on Mars is high on the priority list and in 2016, ESA and NASA plan to launch the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter to investigate further. Nili Fossae will be observed with great interest.



Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
More about Mars Express at ESA
Mars News and Information at MarsDaily.com
Lunar Dreams and more



Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


MARSDAILY
'Oddly' shaped Mars crater is studied
Paris (UPI) Mar 4, 2011
European scientists say an image of an odd, elongated crater on Mars suggests it was carved out by a train of objects hitting the surface at a shallow angle. The image was one of many returned by the European Space Agency's Mars Express probe of the planet's heavily cratered southern highlands, an ESA release said Friday. The unnamed elongated crater is about 48 miles long, opens ... read more







MARSDAILY
Space Adventures proposes modified Soyuz TMA for Lunar tourists

India Eyeing Collaboration With JPL In 2016 NASA Lunar Mission

BRP To Contribute To Canadian Moon And Mars Exploration Programs

Naveen Jain Co-Founder And Chairman Of Moon Express

MARSDAILY
Shuttle Small Payloads Launched Careers of Many

All Eyes on the Shuttle

NASA expects shuttle Endeavour to launch May 16

Space Shuttle Endeavour to Launch No Earlier Than May 16

MARSDAILY
ISS orbit to be readjusted for Soyuz TMA-20 return

Soyuz is in the launch zone at Europe's Spaceport

Progress Docks To ISS

Russia ferries supplies to space

MARSDAILY
The Shape-Shifting Southern Vortex Of Venus

The Shape-Shifting Southern Vortex Of Venus

MARSDAILY
A Water Ocean on Titan

Electron Beams Link Saturn with Its Moon Enceladus

Titan Shaped By Weather Not Ice Volcanoes

Cassini Finds Saturn Sends Mixed Signals

MARSDAILY
India's new satellite beams high quality images

Iran to send satellites into space to prepare maps and photos

Pivotal Shift Underway in Satellite Observations of Earth

Moscow court upholds ban against satellite image distributor

MARSDAILY
AFIT education paves way to space

Soyuz launch from Europe space base set for October

NASA Selects Investigations for Future Key Missions

ESA hands over keys to Soyuz launch site

MARSDAILY
An Earth as Dense as Lead

Astronomers unveil portrait of 'super-exotic super-Earth'

Tuning Into ExoPlanet Radio

The Shocking Environment Of Hot Jupiters


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement