Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Wind and water have shaped Schiaparelli impact basin on Mars

Date:
December 11, 2010
Source:
European Space Agency
Summary:
The small crater embedded in the northwestern rim of the Schiaparelli impact basin features prominently in this new image from the European Space Agency's Mars Express. All around is evidence for past water and the great martian winds that periodically blow.

Crater Schiaparelli on Mars.
Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)

The small crater embedded in the northwestern rim of the Schiaparelli impact basin features prominently in this new image from the European Space Agency's Mars Express. All around is evidence for past water and the great martian winds that periodically blow.

Related Articles


Schiaparelli is a large impact basin about 460 km in diameter located in the eastern Terra Meridiani region of the equator of Mars. The centre of the basin lies at about 3S/17E and is named after the Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli (1835-1910). Although he also studied Mercury and Venus, he is best known for his observations of the Red Planet.

During the 'Great Opposition' of 1877, when Mars passed close to Earth, Schiaparelli mapped the planet, perceiving a number of straight dark lines across the red surface. He assumed that these were natural water-filled channels and used the equivalent Italian word, 'canali'.

However, other astronomers thought he meant canals, meaning artificial irrigation and transportation routes, which led to a few astronomers, and a large number of the general public, believing that they had been created by intelligent Martians.

Now we know that Schiaparelli's 'canali' were illusions created by the comparatively poor telescopes of the time and there are no water-filled channels on Mars today. Nevertheless, there is evidence in this new picture that water was once present in this region of the planet, perhaps in the form of a lake.

This image was taken on 15 July 2010 by the High-Resolution Stereo Camera of ESA's Mars Express.

The scene shows a small part of the northwestern area of the Schiaparelli basin with the crater rim, the crater interior and parts of the surrounding highlands. Evidence for water can be seen in the form of dark sediments that appear on the floor of Schiaparelli, resembling those deposited by evaporated lakes on Earth.

The interior of Schiaparelli has been modified by multiple geological processes, including the fall of ejecta blasted upwards by the initial impact, flows of lava to create the smooth plains, and watery sediments. Box 1 shows part of these sedimentary deposits. Also in the crater floor, smaller impact craters have been partially flooded and filled.

The sediments forming the smooth plains in Box 2 have been modified by erosion, either by wind, water or both to form sharp contours such as the skinny plateau at bottom left. In other places, material has been deposited by the wind to form hills and dunes.

The prominent crater in Box 3 is 42 km across and rests on the inner rim of Schiaparelli. The interior of the smaller crater is filled with sediments that appear to form a terrace in the northern part and a delta-like structure near the centre. The latter seems to be partially composed of rounded light-coloured mounds. Dark wind-borne material has accumulated in the southern portion of the crater.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Space Agency. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Space Agency. "Wind and water have shaped Schiaparelli impact basin on Mars." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101210075930.htm>.
European Space Agency. (2010, December 11). Wind and water have shaped Schiaparelli impact basin on Mars. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101210075930.htm
European Space Agency. "Wind and water have shaped Schiaparelli impact basin on Mars." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101210075930.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Scientists Find Invisible Space Shield Protecting Earth

Scientists Find Invisible Space Shield Protecting Earth

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) An invisible barrier is keeping dangerous super fast electrons from interfering with our atmosphere, but scientists aren't entirely sure how. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) Take a stab at this -- stunt video shows a lamb chop's journey from an east London restaurant over 30 kilometers into space. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soyuz Spacecraft Docks With International Space Station: NASA

Soyuz Spacecraft Docks With International Space Station: NASA

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying Italy's first female astronaut safely docks with the International Space Station, according to NASA. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins