This is Valles Marineris and it is one of the largest canyons in the Solar System.

This is Valles Marineris and it is one of the largest canyons in the Solar System. It’s more than four times as deep as the Grand Canyon, and its length surpasses the United States from coast to coast.

Credit: NASA

 

 

The largest canyon in the Solar System cuts a wide swath across the face of Mars. Named Valles Marineris, the grand valley extends over 3,000 kilometers long, spans as much as 600 kilometers across, and delves as much as 8 kilometers deep. By comparison, the Earth’s Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA is 800 kilometers long, 30 kilometers across, and 1.8 kilometers deep. The origin of the Valles Marineris remains unknown, although a leading hypothesis holds that it started as a crack billions of years ago as the planet cooled. Recently, several geologic processes have been identified in the canyon. The above mosaic was created from over 100 images of Mars taken by Viking Orbiters in the 1970s.

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Credit: NASA

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