Utopia Planitia of Mars

The Chinese Mission to Mars Tianwen 1 recently landed in the Utopia Planitia. It is the place where the Viking 2 lander touched down.

Utopia Planitia

  • It is an Impact basin of Mars. Impact Crater is a circular depression in the surface of planets formed due to hypervelocity impact of smaller bodies. It may be due to meteors.
  • The diameter of the basin is 3,300 kilometres.
  • The rocks in Utopia Planitia look perched, that is, removed by wind at their bases.
  • Some areas in the region exhibit Scalloped Topography. Scalloped Topography is common in the latitudes of 45 degrees to 60 degrees north and south. They consist of shallow rimless depression.

Other Features in Utopia Planitia

  • Holes and Hollows were found under the HiWish Programme. It was a programme created by NASA. Under the programme anyone can suggest a place for the HiRISE camera to take photograph of the Martian surface. HiRISE was placed in Mars Reconnaissance orbiter.
  • The HiWish Programme also located Glacier in crater floor.
  • Layered Mesa has been detected. Mesa is a flat lying soft sedimentary rock capped by more resistant layers of harder rock.
  • Streamlined forms indicating water flowed on the surface.
  • Polygonal patterned ground has been detected. These regions are created by the sublimation of ice from the ground. Sublimation is the transition of the substance from solid to gaseous state.
  • Pedestral Craters have been found. They are craters with the ejecta sitting above the surrounding terrain.

NASA

In 2016, NASA reported large amount of underground ice in the Utopia Planitia region.

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