Mars Express’s Stunning Flight Over “Labyrinth of Night” [Video]

Mars Labyrinth of Night

Noctis Labyrinthus, a sprawling system of valleys on Mars, is located between Valles Marineris and the Tharsis area’s huge volcanoes. A video created by Mars Specific’s HRSC visualizes a flight over this panorama, revealing ‘graben’ formations attributable to intense Tharsis volcanism. This phenomenon resulted within the stretching and subsiding of the Martian crust. Credit score: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin & NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The Mars Specific offers an in depth visualization of Noctis Labyrinthus, an enormous valley system on Mars, revealing its distinctive geological formations and the consequences of Tharsis volcanism on the Martian crust.

Nestled between the colossal Martian ‘Grand Canyon’ (Valles Marineris) and the tallest volcanoes within the Photo voltaic System (the Tharsis area) lies Noctis Labyrinthus – an enormous system of deep and steep valleys that stretches out for round 740 miles (1190 km), or roughly the size of Italy right here on Earth).

This video visualizes a flight over the japanese a part of Noctis Labyrinthus as seen by Mars Specific’s Excessive Decision Stereo Digicam (HRSC). It presents a perspective view down and throughout this fascinating panorama, displaying distinctive ‘graben’ – components of the crust which have subsided in relation to their environment. The extreme volcanism within the close by Tharsis area is responsible for the formation of those options; this volcanism prompted giant areas of Martian crust to arch upwards and develop into stretched and tectonically confused, resulting in it scaling down, faulting, and subsiding.


The video begins on a rotating full-globe of Mars, with white polar caps and mottled tan floor seen. It then zooms in on the westernmost a part of the big Valles Marineris canyon system, a area highlighted by a white field, and swaps to a brand new Mars Specific visualization of Noctis Labyrinthus. The digital camera then flies slowly throughout a panorama that’s damaged aside by deep intersecting valleys and canyons. Credit score: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin & NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The best plateaus seen right here symbolize the unique floor degree earlier than chunks of floor fell away. The intersecting canyons and valleys are as much as 30 km broad and 6 km deep. In lots of locations, gigantic landslides might be seen masking the valley slopes and flooring, whereas different valley slopes present giant dune fields created by sands blown each down and upslope by Martian winds.

ESA has highlighted Mars Specific photographs of Noctis Labyrinthus earlier than, in 2006 and 2015. Mars Specific has orbited the Purple Planet since 2003, imaging Mars’s floor, mapping its minerals, learning its tenuous ambiance, probing beneath its crust, and exploring how varied phenomena work together within the Martian atmosphere.

Processing notes: The video was created utilizing a picture mosaic constructed over eight orbits (0442, 1085, 1944, 1977, 1988, 10497, 14632, and 16684) by ESA’s Mars Specific and its HRSC. This mosaic is mixed with topographic data from a digital terrain mannequin to generate a three-dimensional panorama, with each second of the video comprising 50 separate frames rendered in response to a pre-defined digital camera path. The opening credit (Mars globe, first 24 seconds) had been created utilizing the current 20-year Mars international shade mosaic; this opening sequence has a three-fold vertical exaggeration, whereas the next flight animation has a 1.5-fold exaggeration. Haze has been added to hide the bounds of the terrain mannequin, and begins build up at distance of between 150 and 200 km. The video is centered on the Martian coordinates of seven°S, 265°E.

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