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Mars' Spectacular Canyon System Photographed By India's Probe

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Justine Alford

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1876 Mars' Spectacular Canyon System Photographed By India's Probe

Since slipping into orbit almost one year ago, India’s Mars Orbiter has evidently improved its photography skills. Within a few hours of arrival, the amateur probe began beaming back blurry shots of its host, capturing snaps of its atmosphere and surface, and teasing us of what’s to come. Now, using its Colour Camera, the orbiter has sent back something much more visually impressive: a stunning image of the Ophir Chasma.

In case you’re not familiar with the term, a chasma is “an elongate, steep-sided depression,” according to the International Astronomical Union. This one forms part of the Valles Marineris, the largest known canyon system in the entire solar system. At the northern most region of the valley network is the Ophir Chasma, which is 317 kilometers (197 miles) long, 62 kilometers (38.5 miles) wide, and framed by high-walled cliffs containing vast deposits of layered materials.



The image shown was taken one month ago, on July 19, at an altitude of 1,857 kilometers (1,154 miles) and with a resolution of 96 megapixels. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has also released some spectacular 3D portrayals of the terrain, which are shown below. You can also check out more on ISRO's website



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