View Full Version : Discussion: Medusa Fossae Region on Mars

2005-Mar-29, 05:37 PM
SUMMARY: The European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft took this image of the Medusa Fossae Region on the Red Planet. This is an unusual region of Mars that was probably built up by a series of volcanic flows or rains of ash, and then partially eroded by water. Finally, a large asteroid, several kilometres across, struck the region and "splashed" ejecta onto the plateau.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/medusa_fossae_mars.html)

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2005-Mar-29, 05:56 PM
ESA's Mars express sends back great images. Even it it weren't doing other good science (which it is), it would be great having it there.

2005-Mar-30, 04:19 AM
Ok, so the northern highlands were formed by very old major volcanic eruptions. The lowlands below have a more featureless surface since erosion naturally despoits downhill and wind and water likely smoothed out the lowlands with eroded material. So I do not see the great mystery here. It is expected that smaller planets would have larger and earlier volcanic outbursts compared to larger worlds like Earth, so this kind of finding shouldn't really be a big surprise. The sharply demarcated boundary suggests to me that the eruption probably stopped nearly as quickly as it began.