Coronavirus outbreak has cut short travel plans of millions of people across the world. This is damaging to the industry as well as mental health. Traveling is fun and everyone loves taking a break.
However, it is important to stay indoors until the virus leaves the face of earth.
Until then, we are bringing innovative travel articles for you. The travel article today is for the future generation. Generation which will cross the horizon and explore our neighbouring planet, Mars.
Here are 5 fascinating sites to visit on Mars. (They’re free from Coronavirus too)
- Valles Marineris
Valles Marineris, or Mariner Valley, is a vast canyon system that runs along the Martian equator just east of the Tharsis region. Valles Marineris is 4000 km (2500 mi) long and reaches depths of up to 7 km (4 mi)! For comparison, the Grand Canyon in Arizona is about 800 km (500 mi) long and 1.6 km (1 mi) deep. Move over earth my adventure freaks, Mars is deeper. The extent of Valles Marineris is as long as the United States and it spans about 20 percent (1/5) of the entire distance around Mars. Talk about a cool continent.
- Tharsis Montes
Rock climbers, rejoice. Tharsis Montes is the largest volcanic region on Mars. It is approximately 4,000 km across,10 km high, and contains 12 large volcanoes. The largest volcanoes in the Tharsis region are 4 shield volcanoes named Ascraeus Mons, Pavonis Mons, Arsia Mons, and Olympus Mons. The Tharsis Montes (Ascraeus, Pavonis, and Arsia) are located on the crest of the crustal bulge and their summits are about the same elevation as the summit of Olympus Mons, the largest of the Tharsis volcanoes. While not the largest of the Tharsis volcanoes, Arsia Mons has the largest caldera on Mars, having a diameter of120 km (75 mi)! The main difference between the volcanoes on Mars and Earth is their size; volcanoes in the Tharsis region are up to 100 times larger than those anywhere on Earth.
- Martian Icecaps
Mars has icy regions at both it’s poles, with slightly different compositions; the north pole was studied up close by the Phoenix lander in 2008, while our south pole observations come from orbiters. During the winter, according to NASA, temperatures near both the north and south poles are so frigid that carbon dioxide condenses out of the atmosphere into ice, on the surface. The process reverses in the summer, when the carbon dioxide fades away into the atmosphere. The carbon dioxide completely disappears in the northern hemisphere, leaving behind a water ice cap. But some of the carbon dioxide ice remains in the southern atmosphere. All of this ice movement has vast effects on the Martian climate, producing winds and other effects.
- Medusae Fossae
Medusae Fossae is one of the weirdest locations on Mars, with some people even speculating that it holds evidence of some sort of a UFO crash. A dream location for conspiracy theorists? However, the more likely explanation is it is a huge volcanic deposit, some one-fifth of the size of the United States. Over time, winds sculpted the rocks into some beautiful formations. But researchers will need more study to learn how these volcanoes formed Medusae Fossae. A 2018 study suggested that the formation may have formed from immensely huge volcanic eruptions taking place hundreds of times over 500 million years. These eruptions would have warmed the Red Planet’s climate as greenhouse gases from the volcanoes drifted into the atmosphere. Global Warming due to greenhouse effect? Haven’t we heard this before?
- Gale Crater
Historians will love this one. Gale Crater formed when a meteor hit Mars in its early history, about 3.5 to 3.8 billion years ago. The meteor impact punched a hole in the terrain. The explosion ejected rocks and soil that landed around the crater. Scientists chose Gale Crater as the landing site for Curiosity because it has many signs that water was present over its history. Water is a key ingredient of life as we know it. Minerals called clays and sulfates are byproducts of water. They also may preserve signs of past life–if it existed, that is! The history of water at Gale, as recorded in its rocks, will give Curiosity lots of clues to study as it pieces together whether Mars ever could have been a habitat for small life forms called microbes. Gale is special because we can see both clays and sulfate minerals, which formed in water under different conditions.