The Most Magnificent Canyons in the Solar System

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The most impressive canyons in the world include the Charyn Canyon in Kazakhstan, Copper Canyon of Mexico, Bryce and Grand Canyon in USA, Colca Canyon of Peru and many others. A canyon or gorge is a deep valley between cliffs often carved from the landscape by a river. Most canyons were formed by a process of long-time erosion from a plateau level. Other planets in our own Solar system have also their own canyons.

Ithaca Chasma: Tethys (Saturn’s moon)

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One notable canyon outside our very own planet is Ithaca Chasma, a valley located on Saturn’s moon Tethys. It is 100 km wide, 3 to 5 km deep and 2,000 km long, running approximately three-fourths of the way around Tethys’ circumference. It is named after the island of Ithaca, in Greece.

Valles Marineris: Mars

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Valles Marineris can be considered the most impressive canyon because it is the largest known crevice in the solar system. The Mariner 9, a Mars orbiter of 1971-72 discovered it and was named after it. It is a huge canyon system that runs along the Martian equator just east of the Tharsis region. It is more than 4,000 km long, 200 km wide and up to 7 km deep. The Valles Marineris rift system is larger than any of the largest canyons of Earth.

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Eos Chasma

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Located in the southern part of Valles Marineris is Eos Chasma. Its western floor is mainly composed of an etched massive material composed of either volcanic or eolian deposits later eroded by the Martian wind.

Ganges Chasma

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An offshoot of Eos Chasma, the Ganges Chasma is a deep canyon situated at the eastern end of the vast Valles Marineris system on Mars. The name is taken from Ganges River of India in South Asia.

Melas Chasma

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The widest portion or segment of the Valles Marineris canyon system is Melas Chasma; it is located east of Ius Chasma. This canyon cuts through layered deposits that are thought to be sediments from an old lake that resulted from runoff of the valley networks to the west. Other theories include windblown sediment deposits and volcanic ash.

Candor Chasma

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Part of the Valles Marineris canyon system on Mars is the Candor Chasma, one of its largest canyons. It is unclear how the canyon originally formed; one theory is that it was expanded and deepened by tectonic processes similar to a grabe, while another suggests that it was formed by subsurface water erosion similar to a karsts.

Noctis Labyrinthus

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Noctis Labyrinthus which literally means “the labyrinth of the night,” is a region of Mars between the Valles Marineris and the Tharsis upland. The region is notable for its maze-like system of deep, steep-walled valleys. The valleys and canyons of this region formed by faulting and many show classic features of grabens, with the upland plain surface preserved on the valley floor. In some places the valley floors are rougher, disturbed by landslides, and there are places where the land appears to have sunk down into pit-like formations. It is thought that this faulting was triggered by volcanic activity in the Tharsis region.

More geographical features of other planets in the solar system will be discovered any time soon with the fast advancement and development of technology.

For the “Grandest Canyons From Around the World” read it here.

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