UNITED STATES: Despite being our close neighbour, Mars is an enigmatic planet that still encases many mysteries we don’t fully grasp.
The High-Resolution Imaging Experiment, a part of NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, snapped a picture of Arabia Terra’s northern plains on the red planet. The image shows craters with unexplained deposits that have odd distributions and shapes.
Mars’ craters births to more unexplained aspects
It’s fascinating to notice that the deposits are only found in craters larger than 600 metres in diameter; they are absent from craters that are 450 metres in diameter or less.
Furthermore, these deposits are only found on the southern edges of the craters; they are not found in the north. The deposits have horizontal laminations that could represent terraces and radial striations caused by tiny brilliant ridges.
According to Paul Geissler of the University of Arizona, “We believe that ice-rich material sublimated to generate these characteristics. The terraces can represent various sublimation epochs”.
He continued, “The larger craters may have flooded after they formed and may have reached a water table between 45 and 60 metres below the surface.”
NASA published a recording of a dust devil on Mars earlier this week. A spinning tower of red dust passed straight above the Perseverance Rover of the space agency, which just so happened to have its microphone on.
10 seconds of thundering winds up to 40 kph and the pinging sounds of hundreds of dust particles hitting Perseverance were captured on audio.
The audio was made available a few weeks after Perseverance collected two samples of Martian surface dust.
The two additional samples, which were retrieved from a pile of wind-blown sand and dust from a small “dune,” differ from the ones that the rover previously gathered, which were rock samples.
As part of the agency’s Mars Sample Return mission, one of the two new samples will be considered for depositing on the Martian surface.