These amazing and beautiful photos show a landslide at 140 million miles



In 2006, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) established an orbit around the red planet. Using an advanced set of scientific instruments, including cameras, spectrometers and radars, this spacecraft has been badyzing geographical features, geology, minerals and ice on Mars for years and collaborating with other missions.

While the mission lasted only two years, the orbiter has remained in operation for the past twelve years.

At that time, the MRO acted as a transmitter for other missions to send information to the Earth and provide a large amount of information on the Red Planet itself.

More recently, he captured an image of an impact crater that caused a landslide, leaving a long, dark vein along the crater wall. Such streaks are created when the dry dust collapses on the edge of a Martian hill, leaving behind dark fringes.

 MarsSlide1 (NASA / JPL / University of Arizona) [19659003] In this sense, these avalanches are not different from the Recurrent Slope Lines (RSL), where seasonal dark veins appear along the slopes during the warmest days on Mars. It is believed that this is caused by salt water flows or dry dust grains that fall naturally.

In this case, however, the dry dust on the slope was destabilized by the impact of the meteor, which exposed darker material beneath.

It is believed that the impact that created the crater occurred about ten years ago. And while the crater itself (shown above) is only 5 meters (16.4 feet) wide, the streak that resulted in 1 kilometer (0.62 miles) in length

 MarsSlide2 (NASA / JPL / University of Arizona)

The image also captured the faded scar of an ancient avalanche, which is visible at the side of the new dark streak.

 ESP 054066 1920 1 (NASA / JPL / University of Arizona)

The image was captured by the High Resolution Imaging MRO Experiment (HiRISE) , which is operated by researchers from the Planetary Images Research Laboratory (PIRL), part of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) at the University of Arizona, Tucson.

This is simply the latest in a long list of images and data packages sent by the MRO. By providing daily reports on the weather and surface conditions of Mars, and the study of possible landing sites, the MRO also paves the way for future missions of spacecraft and surface.

In the future, the orbiter will serve as a high-capacity satellite for missions such as NASA's Mars 2020 rover, which will continue to search for signs of past life on Mars.

Currently, the MRO has enough propellant to continue operating in the 2030s, and given its intrinsic value for the study of Mars, it is likely to remain in operation until it runs out of fuel.

Maybe it will even be working when the astronauts arrived at the red planet?

This article was originally published by Universe Today. Read the original article.

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