On July 14th, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) released the most detailed map of Mars to date. The USGS compiled data from four orbiting spacecraft over the course of more than 16 years to make the map, which, according to researchers working with the project, should add significantly to our understanding of the Red Planet.
The four spacecraft used in making the map include three NASA spacecraft—Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter—as well as the European Space Agency’s Mars Express Probe. Among the many insights that the map provides is the fact that the Martian surface is older than scientists previously believed; according to researchers, three times as much surface area formed during the Early Noachian Epoch—the first major geologic time period—than previously thought. This period is characterized by a high rate of meteorite impacts, the likely presence of water, and widespread erosion, and it lasted from about 4.1 to 3.7 billion years ago. Researchers also say that this new map could provide valuable information about possible future landing sites on the Martian surface.
Read more here: http://www.space.com/26521-best-mars-geology-map-video.html
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