Sep 1, 2010

Bizarre elongated crater is a Martian mystery

A peculiar elongated crater on the surface of Mars that doesn't fit with standard models has left astronomers baffled.

Known as Orcus Patera the crater is not quite as long as the Grand Canyon but is five times as wide, one possible explanation is that it started out as a standard crater but was later changed by shifting tectonic plates.

This crater, known as Orcus Patera, is a strange, elliptical crater located near Mars's equator. Roughly 240 miles long by 90 miles wide, its elongated shape doesn't fit with standard models of crater formation, leaving astronomers with a baffling mystery.

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