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North Polar Basin (Mars)

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Title: North Polar Basin (Mars)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Martian dichotomy, Moons of Mars, Transit of Venus from Mars, North Polar Basin, List of largest craters in the Solar System
Collection: Surface Features of Mars
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

North Polar Basin (Mars)

North Polar Basin
The North Polar Basin is the large blue low-lying area at the northern end of this topographical map of Mars. Its elliptical shape is partially obscured by volcanic eruptions (red, center left).

The North Polar Basin, or Borealis basin, is a large basin in the northern hemisphere of Mars that covers 40% of the planet. Chryse Planitia, the landing site of the Viking 1 lander, is a bay that opens into this basin.

One possible explanation for the basin's low, flat and relatively crater-free topography is that the basin was formed by a single large impact. Two simulations of a possible impact sketched a profile for the collision: low velocity—6 to 10 km (3.7 to 6.2 mi) per second—oblique angle and a diameter of 1,600–2,700 km (990–1,680 mi).[1][2] Topographical data from Mars Global Surveyor are consistent with the models and also suggest that the elliptical crater has axes of length 10,600 km (6,600 mi) and 8,500 km (5,300 mi), centered on , though this has been partially obscured by later volcanic eruptions that created the Tharsis bulge along its rim. There is evidence for a secondary rim as well.[3][4] This would make the North Polar Basin by far the largest impact crater in the Solar System, approximately four times the diameter of the next largest craters: Utopia Planitia, which is imbedded inside the North Polar Basin, the South Pole–Aitken basin on the Moon, and Hellas Planitia on Mars's southern hemisphere.[5]

See also


  • Martel, L.M.V. (June, 2001), "Outflow Channels May Make a Case for a Bygone Ocean on Mars", Planetary Science Research Discoveries. (retrieved 17 August 2005)
  1. ^ Marinova; et al. (2008). "Mega-impact formation of the Mars hemispheric dichotomy".  
  2. ^ Nimmo; et al. (2008). "Implications of an impact origin for the Martian hemispheric dichotomy".  
  3. ^ Andrews-Hanna; et al. (2008). "The Borealis basin and the origin of the Martian crustal dichotomy".  
  4. ^ "Huge Impact Created Mars' Split Personality". Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  5. ^ Chandler, David (2008-06-25). "Solar system's biggest impact scar discovered: MIT scientists solve riddle of Mars' two-faced nature".  

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