KEES VEENENBOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY KEES VEENENBOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Water on Mars. Computer artwork looking south over the coast of the northern polar ocean on Mars 3.5 billion years ago. This is the Deuteronilus Mensae region of cliffs and promontories. Water is seen in the Cerulli Crater (upper centre) and the Focas Crater (upper right, connected to the ocean). Ice (white) covers this frozen polar landscape. This image is hundreds of kilometres across. The water was ultimately lost due to the thin Martian atmosphere and weak gravity. Mars is now a desert world. The topography was drawn with Terragen software, using data from the laser altimeter on the Mars Global Surveyor probe.
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