Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cydonia Mensae

Today's featured image from the JPL Photojournal is somewhat unusual in that the caption normally included from the THEMIS gallery webpage is missing, and the actual caption at the THEMIS website is pathetically lame ("This fractured region is part of Cydonai [sic] Mensae."). So I thought I'd write my own caption for this photo.

This photo is taken from the Cydonia Mensae region of Mars, which is a transitional area located between Arabia Terra to the south and Acidalia Planitia to the north. Mensae (the plural form of Mensa) is the word used by planetary geologists for mesas; however, in this photo, what we see are a number of interlocking channels. Any water that had flowed through these channels would have flowed north, toward the top of this photo.

Incidentally, the Cydonia region is home of the famous "Face on Mars," which is located to the northeast of this location.

Photo credit: NASA/JPL/Arizona State University

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