KEES VEENENBOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY KEES VEENENBOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Martian river valley. Computer model looking down on the Kasei Valles (Kasei Valley) on Mars. North is at top. The colours indicate elevation from white (highest) through brown, red, orange, yellow, green and blue (lowest). The elevation map shows that the valley was formed by water erosion, probably by meltwater from the Tharsis volcanoes to the west. Mars is a desert world, but it is thought that water flowed there 3.5 billion years ago. The water was lost due to the thin Martian atmosphere and weak gravity. The image is over 1500 kilometres wide. The topography was drawn with Terragen software, using data from the laser altimeter on the Mars Global Surveyor probe.
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