Haunting high resolution video showing the formation of lines of Martian pits in the fretted terrain of the Red Planet’s ‘Protonilus Mensae’ region has been released by NASA.
The mesmerizing footage, captured in March of this year, was shared by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter imaging project, HiRise.
Protonilus Mensae is an area of Mars in the Ismenius Lacus quadrangle. The terrain features cliffs, flat-topped hills, and wide valleys, believed to have been formed by debris-covered glaciers moving across the Red Planet’s surface.
The footage was captured from an altitude of 300km (188 miles) and shows the cracked, lined Martian landscape pockmarked with rows of pits.
This Martian region is known among astronomers for its pits, which scientists say may have formed after ground ice converted to gas, leaving empty space. As surface material collapsed into the void, pits were created.
The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment has photographed hundreds of areas of the Martian surface in unprecedented detail.