Thursday, January 20, 2011

Martian crater Schiaparelli with low Sun

Martian crater Schiaparelli with low Sun
Click on the image to enlarge

The Schiaparelli Crater is an impact crater on Mars named after Giovanni Schiaparelli located near Mars' equator. It is 461 km in diameter and located at latitude 3° South and longitude 344°. A crater within Schiaparelli shows many layers that may have formed by the wind, volcanoes, or deposition under water.
Layers can be a few meters thick or tens of meters think. Recent research on these layers by scientists at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) suggest that ancient climate change on Mars caused by regular variation in the planet's tilt, may have caused the patterns in layers. On Earth, similar changes (astronomical forcing) of climate results in ice-age cycles.
Like the rendering below, this image was made mainly with the digital elevation models of the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) and rendered with 3DEM data converter and Terragen 2 software.
Credit: Kees Veenenbos

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