Monday, July 3, 2017

The lava falls of Mars

NASA entitled this new picture the "Niagara Falls of Mars", but I think that gives the misleading impression that this had something to do with water.  It didn't -- the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter acquired a remarkable picture of a solidified lava falls, where the lava flow breached a crater wall and flowed into it.

There are lots of versions of this, including 3D, which I haven't looked at yet, here:

Lava Spilling into Crater (which is a much more accurate description)

Here's a direct link to one of the larger images:

Now, one might be tempted to ask, has anything like this happened on Earth?  Well, of course it has. One of the most notable instances happened when lava from the Mauna Ulu eruption of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano flowed into Alae Crater.  Seeing this in person must have been sublime.

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