Probe records strange geological formations on Mars

Exploration of Mars was once a myth, pioneered, and eventually became relatively “ordinary” - though it might take a while for someone to actually set foot there. But that doesn't mean, of course, that the Red Planet can't keep surprising. Far from it.

An image recently registered by NASA has brought geological formations capable of placing new question marks among experts. In the region known as Adicalia Planitia, the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera recorded what may well be evidence of oceans on the surface of Mars in a remote period.

Image Source: Playback / HiRISE

The images were taken as part of the mission of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft, which currently moves over the southern hemisphere of the planet.

Impact craters and discarded volcanoes

The uneven shape of HiRISE's depressions has made NASA scientists disregard the most obvious explanation - impact craters. The possibilities of the action of the Martian winds - given the dimensions of the edges present in the formations - and of volcanic activities were also discarded.

Image Source: Playback / HiRISE

Thus, the possibility remains of the probable existence, in ancient times, of oceans on the surface of Mars - which must have spread throughout Acidalia Planitia. It is also considered that the "craters" housed ice which, over time, has sublimed, passing into the atmosphere.

"Ancestral glaciers are other possibilities - perhaps deposits of debris-rich ice near topographic obstacles, " said HiRISE geologist and lead researcher Alfred McEwen. “Future imagery of this region may give us more clues, but for now, it's really a mystery.”

The “Martian Face” Region

Image Source: Reproduction / WikimediaCommons

It is worth remembering that Acidalia Planitia is the same place where, some years ago, images were taken of a supposed “face” of colossal proportions. The possibility of some kind of alien sculpture, however, was later ruled out - as HiRISE itself showed, it was just a very convenient light game.