05/06/2009 4:40 pm
ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum), CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO
This image of Hephaestus Fossae was obtained by ESA’s Mars Express orbiter on 28 December 2007. The region is dotted with craters and channel systems and lies at about 21°N and 126°E on the Red Planet. Named after the Greek god of fire, Hephaestus Fossae extends for more than 600 km on the western flank of Elysium Mons in the Utopia Planitia region.
The surface is mostly smooth, and is covered by several small impact craters measuring 800 to 2800 m in diameter. Smaller craters are scattered across the entire region. The left side of the image shows a large impact crater measuring 20 km in diameter. Covering an area of approximately 150 sq km, a crater of this size on Earth could harbour cities such as Bonn or Kiel. In contrast to the smaller craters, it shows a blanket of ejecta with flow forms surrounding the rim.
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