MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Planetary scientists have concluded that Eden Patera, a Martian crater, is the remains of an ancient supervocanic eruption, the first of its kind on this planet. Their conclusion is based on images and topographic data various orbiting spacecraft. The scientists believe that Eden, previously thought to be an impact structure, is a volcanic caldera which, when it erupted many millions of years ago, could have ejected as much as 1000 cubic km of material into the primitive Martian skies. Volcanoes like this may have played a crucial role in the development of Mar's early atmosphere.
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