Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Battered Tharsis Tholus volcano on Mars

Date:
November 15, 2011
Source:
European Space Agency
Summary:
The latest image released from Mars Express reveals a large extinct volcano that has been battered and deformed over the eons. By Earthly standards, Tharsis Tholus is a giant, towering 8 kilometers above the surrounding terrain, with a base stretching over 155 x 125 km. Yet on Mars, it is just an average-sized volcano. What marks it out as unusual is its battered condition.

Tharsis Tholis towers 8 km above the surrounding terrain. Its base stretches 155 x 125 km and what marks it out as unusual is its battered condition. The main feature of Tharsis Tholus is the caldera at its centre. It has an almost circular outline, about 32 x 34 km, and is ringed by faults where the caldera floor has subsided by as much as 2.7 km. The image was created using a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) obtained data taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera on ESA’s Mars Express spacecraft during four orbits of Mars: 0997, 1019, 1041, 1052 between 28 October and 13 November 2004. Elevation data from the DTM is colour coded: purple indicates the lowest lying regions and beige the highest. The scale is in metres.
Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)

The latest image released from Mars Express reveals a large extinct volcano that has been battered and deformed over the aeons.

By Earthly standards, Tharsis Tholus is a giant, towering 8 km above the surrounding terrain, with a base stretching over 155 x 125 km. Yet on Mars, it is just an average-sized volcano. What marks it out as unusual is its battered condition.

Shown in images taken by the HRSC high-resolution stereo camera on the European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft, the volcanic edifice has been marked by dramatic events.

At least two large sections have collapsed around its eastern and western flanks during its four-billion-year history and these catastrophes are now visible as scarps up to several kilometres high.

The main feature of Tharsis Tholus is, however, the caldera in its centre.

It has an almost circular outline, about 32 x 34 km, and is ringed by faults that have allowed the caldera floor to subside by as much as 2.7 km.

It is thought that the volcano emptied its magma chamber during eruptions and, as the lava ran out onto the surface, the chamber roof was no longer able to support its own weight.

So, the volcano collapsed, forming the large caldera.

November is a busy month for Mars exploration: Russia and NASA both plan launches this month.

Russia's Phobos-Soil (formerly known as Phobos-Grunt) is designed to land on Phobos, the larger of Mars' two moons, to collect samples, and return them to Earth in 2014. It also carries the first Chinese spacecraft to Mars, Yinghuo-1.

Mars Express HRSC digital elevation models of Phobos were used by Russian scientists to assess the mission's potential landing sites and ESA is also providing telecommunications support for both Phobos-Soil and Yinghuo-1.

In return, the European scientific community will have access to data obtained by both spacecraft.

NASA's mission is the Mars Science Laboratory, a large rover known as Curiosity, with experiments designed to detect organic molecules -- past or present -- on the Red Planet.

Also worth noting is the simulated Mars mission, Mars500, which ended on Friday when the hatch was opened for the first time since June 2010. For 520 days, the international crew had been working in a simulated spacecraft in Moscow.


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. "Battered Tharsis Tholus volcano on Mars." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 November 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111108212639.htm>.
European Space Agency. (2011, November 15). Battered Tharsis Tholus volcano on Mars. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 14, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111108212639.htm
European Space Agency. "Battered Tharsis Tholus volcano on Mars." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111108212639.htm (accessed September 14, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

International Space Station Crew Returns Safely To Earth

International Space Station Crew Returns Safely To Earth

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) The three-man crew touched down in Kazakhstan Wednesday after more than five months of science experiments in orbit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solar Storm To Hit This Weekend, Scientists Not Worried

Solar Storm To Hit This Weekend, Scientists Not Worried

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) Two solar flares which erupted in our direction this week will arrive this weekend. The resulting solar storm will be powerful but not dangerous. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solar Flare Surges Off Sun

Solar Flare Surges Off Sun

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 11, 2014) NASA captures video of a significant flare surging off the sun. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe Readies 'space Plane' For Sub-Orbital Test Flight

Europe Readies 'space Plane' For Sub-Orbital Test Flight

AFP (Sep. 10, 2014) The European Space Agency on Tuesday put the final touches to its first-ever "space plane" before blasting it into sub-orbit for tests aimed at eventually paving the way to the continent's first space shuttle. Duration: 00:52 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:
from the past week

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