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Valles Marineris, Mars

Valles Marineris, Mars

R350/0244

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Credit

DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Valles Marineris, Mars. Artwork of the Valles Marineris canyon system during a dust storm. This canyon system is found on Mars, the fourth planet nearest the Sun. It is thought that surface heating is capable of creating stong winds that spin up into 'dust devils'. These are a weaker form of tornado, which can suck large quantities of dust high into the atmosphere. Dust storms are the most dynamic weather phenomenon on Mars because they develop and move rapidly, often with winds of over 322 kilometres (km) per hour. Valles Marineris is over 4000 km long, up to 200 km wide and up to 7 km deep, dwarfing the Grand Canyon of Arizona, USA.

Release details

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