An unusual “velvet” soil was photographed on Mars

New photos of the Martian soil show an amazing relief, which astronomers compared to a “velvety” pie sprinkled with powdered sugar.

The image taken by the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter captures a 4 km wide Martian crater in the Great Northern Plain area. It is partially filled with water ice, especially on the northern slopes, which are less illuminated during the year. The dark band at the edge of the crater consists of volcanic materials such as basalt.

Most of the terrain is ice-free. It was formed by the ongoing Aeolian processes associated with the work of the wind. In the lower right corner of the photo, stripes are visible — here the wind has removed the bright iron oxide dust from the surface, exposing a darker “substrate”.

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Anna Lysenko

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