Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

July 20, 1995

The Grand Canyon of Mars
Picture Credit: NASA,Viking Project,USGS

Explanation: The Mariner Valley, also known as the Valles Marineris canyon system, appears in this mosaic of images from NASA's Viking spacecraft as a huge gouge across the red planet. This "Grand Canyon" of Mars is about 2500 miles long and up to 4 miles deep. By comparison, the Earth's Grand Canyon is less than 500 miles long and 1 mile deep.

For more information about Mars see the `Views of the Solar System' Mars Page.

The exploration of Mars is chronicled by the Centre For Mars Exploration.

Tomorrow's picture: The search for life

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.