Fast Facts About Mars Canyons
Valles Marineris is the largest canyon system in the Solar System
It was named in honor of the Mariner missions: Mariner 9 was the first spacecraft to image this magnificent canyon system.
Valles Marineris is actually a system of several interconnected canyons, each with different names and distinctive features.
Valles Marineris is 2500 miles (4000 km) long, 310 miles (500 km) wide by 4.3 miles (7 km) deep
From end to end, Valles Marineris runs 20%, or 1/5, of the entire distance around Mars.
If this canyon system existed on Earth, it would stretch from San Francisco to Boston: essentially the entire length of the U.S.
Valles Marineris is nearly 10 times as long and wide, and 3 times as deep as compared to the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
Valles Marineris was not carved by running water – it is a gigantic fracture in Mars’ crust. Pulling apart of the surface formed the main portion of the canyon system. Massive landslides are also present in the canyons.


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