This deep gorge known as the Echus Chasma was ripped into the Martian soil by gushing water, and scientists speculate that it may once have boasted giant, 4000-meter-high waterfalls. This image, by the European Space Agency's Mars Express satellite, was released this week along with a few others. We've got an even more gorgeous one for you below.
According to the European Space Agency:
[This is] an image taken by the High-Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board ESA's Mars Express of Echus Chasma, one of the largest water source regions on the Red Planet. Echus Chasma, which resembles Arizona's Grand Canyon, is an approximately 62.1 miles (100 km) long and 6.2 miles (10 km) wide. The data was acquired on 25 September 2005. A 4000-meter-high cliff marks the edge of the source area of Kasei Valles in its western part. Gigantic water falls may have once plunged over these cliffs on to the valley floor. The original shoreline is still partially visible. The remarkably smooth valley floor was later flooded by basaltic lava.
Photos via AP.
Echus Chasma Images from Mars Express [via People's Daily Online]