Pack your bags: 8 cool places for Martian tourism

Mars is a planet of contrasts. There is a huge volcanoes give way to deep canyons, plains, sandy dunes, and in the deep craters of the planet may still contain water in one form or another. At least, according to scientists. Once on the red planet more or less settled the first Martian colony, Mars promises to reveal its potential as one of the most interesting places for space tourism within the Solar system.

Today let’s talk about the eight most “religious” areas of Mars, which can become a major interest for space tourists of the future.

Olympus

Higher, both in absolute and in relative height of the volcano in the Solar system. The square is located in the province of Tharsis (equator area of the planet) volcano is nearly the size of the U.S. state of Arizona (more than 256 thousand square kilometers according to NASA). Its height is 26 kilometers, making it almost three times higher than the highest mountain on Earth – mount Everest, whose height above sea level is about 8.8 kilometers.

Olympus is a shield volcano. It was formed as a result of slow thrown up from the bowels of the planet lava masses that formed its slopes. For future colonists object to represent a relatively attractive target for climbing, since its slope does not exceed 5%. On top of the volcano is a huge depression (Caldera) of a width of about 85 km and a depth of 3 kilometers.

Volcanoes of the Tharsis Regio

When climbing Olympus good idea to look around and see some of the other volcanoes of the Tharsis Regio. The courtyard is about 30 million square kilometers there are a total of 12 giant volcanoes. Like the Olympus, these volcanoes in all respects far above the volcanoes on Earth – all thanks to the low gravity, which allows them to grow up. According to scientists, the last time these volcanoes erupted about 2 billion years ago, that time is about half the entire history of Mars.

The picture above shows the Eastern part of the province of Tharsis, photographed by the spacecraft “Viking 1” in 1980. On the left side of the picture from the top down you can see three shield volcanoes: Mount Scricca (altitude 18 km), Mountain Peacock (height 14 km) and Mountain Arsiya (height 19 kilometers). In the upper right part of the image is another shield volcano of the Tharsis Dome (height over 9 kilometres).

Valles Marineris

On Mars, there are not only the biggest volcanoes in the Solar system, but also the large canyons. According to NASA, Valles Marineris stretches over 4000 km across the surface of Mars, mostly East-to-West just below the equator. It is approximately four times the length of the Grand Canyon in the United States, whose length is about 800 miles.

Scientists are not quite sure how did Valles Marineris, but there are several hypotheses in this regard. Thus, according to the most popular of these valleys could appear after the formation of the volcanic region of Farside. Eventually, when the cooling of the planet, molten lava began to splinter apart and eventually formed the appearance of a valley.

North and South pole of Mars

Mars has two ice caps at the poles, slightly different from each other in composition. A study of the North pole (in the image above) was carried out using a lander NASA the Phoenix, the South pole was investigated only orbiters the same Agency. According to NASA, during the winter season the temperature on the North and South poles of the planet becomes so low that carbon dioxide condenseries of its atmosphere and settles on its surface in the form of ice.

Everything changes in summer, when the carbon dioxide sublimates back into the atmosphere. In this case, the carbon dioxide disappears completely in the Northern hemisphere, leaving behind the frozen ice caps. Some part of carbon dioxide remains in the southern hemisphere. All these movements of the ice masses had a serious impact on the Martian climate, producing wind and other weather effects.

The Gale crater and mount sharp (Aolida)

Made famous by the planting in this area of the Rover “Curiosity” in 2012, the Gale crater is a potentially vast source of evidence of water on the red planet in the past. Just a few weeks after landing the “Curiosity” discovered the ancient Martian riverbed of the dried-up river. After months of his journey at the bottom of Gale crater, the Rover found more evidence in favor of “raw” history of Mars. Currently, the Rover is located near the Central peak of Gale crater mount sharp, named in honor of geologist Robert sharp. Here the Rover has been researching geological features.

One of the most important discoveries for “Curiosity” was the discovery of traces of complex organic molecules. The results of a study published in 2018, it was reported that the Rover has discovered organic matter particles within the breed age of 3.5 billion years. Along with the announcement about the opening of the organic matter, scientists announced that “Curiosity” confirmed the seasonality of methane concentration in the atmosphere of the planet. Discovered methane on Mars could indicate either the presence of a primitive biosphere on the red planet and the presence of geological processes. Find out for sure will the next Rover to go to Mars to replace “Curiosity”.

Medusae Fossae

Medusae Fossae represent one of the most interesting geological structures on Mars. Among the conspiracy theorists are of the opinion that the structure is proof of the fall of the giant UFO on the Red planet. However, the most likely explanation of the strange geological features are the volcanic eruption that took place here more than 3 billion years ago. Scientists suggest that the Medusae Fossae is a volcanic deposition. The large volcanic deposits in the Solar system. It is located near the equator of the red planet and extends in length about eight thousand kilometers.

According to the findings of one study conducted in 2018 the ancient catastrophe could cause liquid reservoirs suitable for primitive life forms.

Strange lines on the slopes of crater Hale

On the slopes of some Martian craters are so-called “repetitive elongated structure” — a dark line, which manifests itself during the warm seasons. Scientists are still not precisely defined what exactly are these lines.

In the image above you can see the slope of the crater Hale with emerging lines of unknown origin. In 2015, scientists from NASA said that the spectroscopy area identified signs of the presence here of salts, which can be an indicator of the presence of liquid water. However, in later studies “duplicate elongated structures” speculated about what the structures on the surface of the slopes of the craters can be formed due to atmospheric water or the movement of dry sand mass.

To get to the true nature of these disappears lines, we probably will have to get close to them. But there is a catch. If these lines are indeed living alien microbes, there is a risk of infection when visiting the area. While NASA tries to figure out how to explore these lines in close proximity, while not violating their own established planetary ducts security, future visitors and the colonists of Mars might be able to observe them from afar, using the same binoculars.

“Ghost of the dunes” labyrinth of the Night and the plains of Hellas

Because the planet’s atmosphere was much thinner than before, and the water from the surface evaporates, the present appearance of Mars is mainly formed under the influence of winds. And yet in the world there are geological features that may hint at the “raw” history of Mars. Take the so-called “Ghost of the dunes”, discovered near the region called the labyrinth of Night (is a huge complex of intersecting canyons), and the plains of Hellas. According to the researchers, these regions where once there were dunes with a height up to several tens of meters. Later their tops have been swept away or swept away by any motion of the lava mass, as a result of volcanic activity on earth, or under the influence of liquid water. Their existence is only hinted “Ghost” base.

According to scientists, these old dunes perfectly demonstrate how the movement of air flow on ancient Mars. Due to this, climatologists can understand, what was the environment of the red planet in the past. Even the “Ghost of the dunes” is interesting because their bases are still able to escape the germs that are protected from radiation and wind, which otherwise they would have simply blown away from the planet’s surface. But this is only speculation.

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