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Space & Astronomy

ESA photographs 'claw marks' on the surface of Mars

By T.K. Randall
May 15, 2022 · Comment icon 4 comments

Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO ESA/DLR/FU Berlin
These giant 'scratches' on the surface of the Red Planet were captured on camera by ESA's Mars Express orbiter.
At a glance, these impressive geological features might look as though a giant creature has dragged its claws across the planet's surface, but it is in fact important to acknowledge the scale of them - each individual trough measures 10km wide, descends 350 meters in depth and stretches for up to 1000km.

The region is known as Tantalus Fossae ( with 'fossae' meaning a hollow or depression ), with the troughs themselves flanking what now remains of the volcano Alba Mons.
These sprawling surface features were created when Alba Mons lifted up, warping and extending the surrounding area to create what are known as grabens.

The image itself isn't technically a photograph but is instead a rendering made using data from the orbiter's High Resolution Stereo Camera.

The resulting vista is undeniably impressive.

Source: Science Alert | Comments (4)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by jethrofloyd 2 years ago
The Mars Nazca Lines.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Hyperionxvii 2 years ago
Umm, those are not claw marks.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Earl.Of.Trumps 2 years ago
"... each individual trough measures 10km wide, descends 350 meters in depth and stretches for up to 1000km." Ya know, Hyper    I'm kinds thinking you got a point. uhHuh. 
Comment icon #4 Posted by Hyperionxvii 2 years ago
How can  you be sure it wasn't a giant extinct Martian pterosuar? Can you prove that it wasn't?

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