Must Reads

PHOTO: Like Hawaii, Mars Has Coils Likely Formed By Volcanic Flow

Take a look at this picture:

This image provided by NASA shows lava flows in the shape of coils located near the equatorial region of Mars. i i

This image provided by NASA shows lava flows in the shape of coils located near the equatorial region of Mars. AP hide caption

itoggle caption AP
This image provided by NASA shows lava flows in the shape of coils located near the equatorial region of Mars.

This image provided by NASA shows lava flows in the shape of coils located near the equatorial region of Mars.

AP

Those same coils — the ones that look like the side of a snail — are also found on the Big Island of Hawaii, which were formed by lava flows.

As Wired reports, the difference is that some of the Martian coils are 100 feet across — giant compared the Earth-bound ones.

Still scientists found that they are "morphologically consistent with terrestrial lava coils."

The AP explains:

"[This] is further evidence that Mars was volcanically active recently — geologically speaking within the past 20 million years.

"For more than a decade, scientists debated whether this maze of valleys near the Martian equator was sculpted by ice or volcanic processes."

But perhaps the coolest thing about this finding is that it was discovered by Andrew Ryan, a graduate student at Arizona State University, who was working on a class project.

Ryan reports his findings in today's edition of Science.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.