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What is Acidalia Planitia on Mars?

What is Acidalia Planitia on Mars?

Acidalia Planitia is a plain on Mars, between the Tharsis volcanic province and Arabia Terra to the north of Valles Marineris, centered at49.8°N 339.3°E. Most of this region is found in the Mare Acidalium quadrangle, but a small part is in the Ismenius Lacus quadrangle.

Is there water on Acidalia Planitia?

HiRISE image (PSP_001942_2310) shows a crater approximately 11 km (7 miles) in diameter, located in Acidalia Planitia, part of the Northern Plains. Several features in and around this crater are suggestive of fluids and ice at and near the surface.

Why is Acidalia Planitia important?

Scientists are debating the likelihood that the northern plains once contained a large ocean or other bodies of water, probably ice-covered. In the story, Acidalia Planitia is the landing site for a human expedition to Mars.

Why is the elevation of the northern lowlands so much lower than the southern highlands?

The prevailing theory for how the northern part of the planet came to have a much lower elevation than the southern highlands is that a giant object slammed obliquely into northern Mars, turning nearly half of the planet’s surface into the solar system’s largest impact crater.

How old is Hellas Planitia?

approximately 4.1 to 3.8 billion years ago
Hellas Planitia is thought to have been formed during the Late Heavy Bombardment period of the Solar System, approximately 4.1 to 3.8 billion years ago, when a protoplanet or large asteroid hit the surface.

What is the Valles Marineris?

Valles Marineris, or Mariner Valley, is a vast canyon system that runs along the Martian equator just east of the Tharsis region. Valles Marineris is 4000 km (2500 mi) long and reaches depths of up to 7 km (4 mi)! For comparison, the Grand Canyon in Arizona is about 800 km (500 mi) long and 1.6 km (1 mi) deep.

How did the northern lowlands of Mars form?

The widespread emplacement of the Hesperian-aged ridged plains of apparent volcanic origin is interpreted to mean that the volcanic phase represented by this unit was global in nature and resurfaced the northern lowlands, in addition to the ∼10% of the planet previously known, for a total resurfacing of ∼30% of Mars.

Why does Mars have a thinner atmosphere than Earth?

Over millions of years, the sun’s pressure stripped the lighter molecules from the atmosphere, thinning it out.

Is Hellas Planitia flat?

These relatively flat-lying “cells” appear to have concentric layers or bands, similar to a honeycomb. This honeycomb terrain was first discovered in the northwestern part of Hellas. The geologic process responsible for creating these features remains unresolved.

What caused Hellas Planitia?

This is common on Mars because of its thin atmosphere. Furrows and ridges on the surface were caused by deforming ice. Also, the shapes of many features in Hellas Planitia and other parts of Mars are strongly suggestive of glaciers, as the surface looks as if movement has taken place.

What caused the crack on Mars?

As molten rock pushed through the volcanic region to form the monstrous volcanoes 3.5 billion years ago, the crust heaved upward. The strain cracked the crust, causing large faults and fractures across the planet’s surface. Such fractures, growing over time, birthed the enormous canyon system.