Mars Photo of the Day - Jan 7 2012

Today's Image of Mars was taken by HiRISE and shows us some puzzling ridges in Aureum Chaos. Scientists are unsure of what created this unusual ridged feature, but in an attempt to explain what they are seeing, the HiRISE team has come up with a geological history that would explain the below features. That history is detailed below:

  • Sediments were deposited by water or airfall.
  • Stresses in the sediments created a "crudely polygonal patterned" surface.
  • Ground water navigated the fracture patterns and deposited minerals which cemented the sediments. 
  • After billions of years of wind erosion, the cemented, more wear-resistant fractures were left as the high-standing ridges seen below.
The HiRISE team emphasizes that this is just pure speculation on their part and there is no way to be sure exactly how these high-standing ridges came to be. Click on the image below to see the original captioned image from HiRISE that contains their speculation.


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