Today's Image of Mars comes from THEMIS shows some very intricate chaotic terrain in Hydraotes Chaos. Chaotic terrain is typically made up of valleys punctured with numerous mesas and hills, as well as occasional pits. These features usually combine in a way that makes them seem patterned. The terrain in the center resembles a spiderweb, with many interlocking features.
Hydraotes Chaos measures about 300km from East to West and 350km from North to South and lies in a valley leading northeast out of Ganges Chasma to the east of Valles Marineris. The channels in this image were created by catastrophic flooding of the region approximately 2-3.8 billion years ago.
This dating was determined by counting craters on the surface, a method used by scientists to determine the relative age of terrain on extraterrestial bodies. The idea is that the more craters there are, the older the feature is since a recent feature is less likely to have been impacted by as many asteroids.
This image is so small because if I make it any bigger it will take forever to load. To see the original, huge, high resolution image, just click on it. [See the original article on Hydraotes Chaos]
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