Of course, no cats live on the red planet, so these scratches happened in a different way. But how?

Space photo of the week Built by Mars Express And shows one of the many fossils on Mars. These streams are hundreds and thousands of kilometers long and wide. There are 56 such tanks on this rocky planet. A photo from the European spacecraft shows details of an area called Tantalus foce, named after the son of Zeus and Pluto. This is certainly not the largest fossil on the Red Planet. That honor goes to Siren Foss. The total length of the Siren Foss is 2,735 km, or the distance from Dublin to Moscow.

Click on the photo to see a larger version.

How is a fossa formed?
A fossa is formed when the crust of a planet is stretched. Eventually, the surface cracks, creating a long, narrow depression. The fossa of the Tantalus fossa was created by the nearby volcano Alba Mons. It is the largest shield volcano in our Solar System and has a diameter of 1600 km. It’s not the highest shield volcano, because that honor goes Olympus MonsAs the volcano grew, the surface around the Alba Mons deformed and eventually erupted. We see this fossa on the other side of the volcano. The fossils around the Alba Mons are up to 1,000 km long, up to 10 km wide and up to 350 m deep.

Fossils surround the nearby Shield volcano, Alba Patera. The large white box shows where Mars Express was photographed in its 22173rd orbit on July 19, 2021. The space photo of the week is a crop of this large photo (small white frame).

Mars is not the only planet with these fossae. 34 fossils have been found on Venus. Fossa has also been found on Mercury, Enceladus (Saturn’s moon), Ganymede (Jupiter’s moon), and Triton (Neptune’s moon).

See also  Promotion: Rhea Garvey at a concert in the Mannheim Mymark area - Celtic Festival Mannheim

Very young and very old impact craters
In the photo we also see a large impact crater. If you look closely, you can see that the lines of the fossa continue into the crater. This means that the crater formed before the fossa and is therefore old. A small crater on the lower right rises just behind the fossa.

Ten years of the Mars Express
Next month will mark the nineteenth anniversary of the launch of the European Space Agency’s ESA Mars Express. The orbiter was commissioned to study the atmosphere and climate of the Red Planet. Scientists also wanted to use the orbiter to learn more about the structure, minerals, and geography of Mars. If possible, the Mars Express should also search for water. Many of these goals Already achievedMars Express does not seem to be retiring soon, so we hope to be able to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this powerhouse next year.

Over the past decades, space telescopes and satellites have captured beautiful images of nebulae, galaxies, star nurseries, and planets. Every weekend we remove one or more space photos from the archive. Want to enjoy all the photos? Check them out On this page.