Mars’ mysterious blue pools : Mars Express Orbiter Captures Epic Photo

Mars' mysterious blue pools : Mars Express Orbiter Captures Epic Photo

The mysterious blue lagoons of MARS!.

Enormous craters containing what appear to be blue pools on the surface of Mars have been caught on camera by one of the European Space Agency’s satellites.

On Mars, strong winds whip up dust and sand from the surface into a frenzy. It moves this cloud across the planet at high speeds; in fact, winds can hit up to 100 km/hr-enough to create giant dust storms that settle across huge swathes of Mars, lasting for many days or even weeks.

As these winds travel across the planet’s surface, they carve their surroundings. They erode and smooth the landscape, wearing away at the planet’s features over millions of years.

In fact, this is exactly what the new image from the Mars Express orbiter shows. It reveals part of the Arabia Terra region, which is scattered with craters of varying sizes and ages. The craters, which were caused by impacts in Mars’ past, all show different degrees of erosion. Some still have defined outer rims and clear features within them, while others are much smoother and featureless, almost seeming to run into one another or merge with their surroundings.

The largest crater in this image also has the steepest rim. This crater dominates the left, southern, side of the frame. The blue “liquid” that you can see within it is actually an optical illusion caused by the image processing. The blue-hued patches are really dark sediments that have built up over time due to the wind, which carries dark, volcanic, basalt-rich deposits across the planet.