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Landslides on Mars spotted from space in amazing NASA photo

By Meghan Bartels
April 25, 2019, 2:18:07 PM EDT


On Mars, just as on Earth, gravity can send material tumbling down steep slopes — and the results can be stunningly pretty, as shown in this photograph NASA released today.

The image reveals an area of Mars called Cerberus Fossae, which scientists believe is the youngest fault system on the planet. Here, geologists see two different types of landslides happening.

Landslide on Mars

The HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this image of landslides at Cerberus Fossae on Mars on Jan. 24, 2019. (Image: © NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona)

First, there are larger boulders, which appear light blue against the dark blue background in the image. Scientists believethese boulders come from the uppermost layer of bedrock, the thin layer of light blue near the top of the image.

Then, there are narrow, dark lines across the blue rock, which scientists believe also mark downslope movement, simply of smaller particles of rock.

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