The surface of Mars is very similar to the Earth in terms of geographic features, but there is a reason we haven’t found any iz yet iz traces of life here.
Thanks to the numerous photos sent from different space probes, we know that Mars has very interesting geographic features. The most interesting is that the northern and southern hemispheres of the planet are very different. In altitude, the northern hemisphere is lower than the south (about six kilometers lower). Also in the north there are fewer craters and the surface is more smooth and uniform.
In the northern hemisphere, the crust is thinner than the south. Although astronomers cannot fully explain the cause of this difference, there are three main forces that shape the surface of the planet: volcanic activity, tectonic and asteroid impacts.
Mount Olympus Mons
Mountains are one of the most impressive surface shapes on the surface of Mars. All extinct volcanoes. On the western side of the southern hemisphere there are two areas: the Tharsis bulge and the Elysium volcanic complex. Both have several volcanoes. The area called the Tharsis bulge covers about 25 percent of the surface of the planet and its height varies between seven and ten kilometers. The volcano volcano Olympus Mons in this region is the largest mountain in the Solar System.
Scientists believed that until a few years ago there was no plate tectonic structure on Earth like Mars. Later discoveries showed that this was not the case. Deep cliffs and flat-walled canyons prove the presence of fault lines. The fact that the volcanoes of Mars are concentrated in two regions is another clue.
Valles Marineris Canyon
The giant valley system, Valles Marineris, consists of the deepest valleys in the Solar System and travels a quarter of the planet. It is also located between two tectonic plates. Unlike Earth, there is only one known fault line on Mars. Some scientists think that Mars’s tectonic system is much younger.
In the southern hemisphere of Mars, there are craters and basins mostly caused by asteroid strikes. Hellas basin is the largest of these, approximately 1,800 kilometers in diameter. Giant basins are thought to have been the result of heavy bombardment that the planet suffered 3.8 billion years ago. They contain traces of erosion and contain abundant regolite. The smaller craters were formed later and are very similar to the craters on the Moon.
Mars is home to many different types of craters due to erosion, deposition and volcanic activity. Interesting surface shapes, called ejecta blanket, must have come about when an impacting asteroid melts the ice beneath the planet’s surface.
Mars is believed to have ice beneath the surface. The amount of ice in the poles varies depending on the season. Since Mars has an inclined axis like Earth, the planet is experiencing four seasons. The only difference is that the lengths of the seasons are different. In winter, the temperature can drop to -143 degrees at the poles.
Since Mars’ atmospheric pressure is much less than that of Earth and the atmosphere is very thin, there is no shield to protect the surface from the sun’s rays. The ice clouds formed by the winds ventilating the dust particles are the result of giant dust storms.