Elysium Planitia


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Elysium Planitia

(i-liz -ee-ŭm) Mars' second main center of volcanic activity, located on a bulge in the Martian crust about 3 km high and 5312 km in diameter, situated on the planet's equator. It is centered on the areograohic coordinates 2° N latitude, 205° W longitude (see areography). Its principal volcano is Elysium Mons (25° N latitude, 213.1° W longitude), which is 250 km in base diameter and 15 km high. See Mars, volcanoes. In Feb, 2005, scientists examining images of Elysium Planitia taken by the European spacecraft Mars Express noted some that showed plated and rutted features over an extensive area measuring 800 by 900 km. The platelike fractures resemble ice floes seen in Earth's polar regions, leading the scientists to believe that a catastrophic event flooded the area about five million years ago forming a sea that then froze and became covered with dust and volcanic ash. They think it now survives as pack ice just below the Martian surface.
References in periodicals archive ?
All four semi-finalist spots lie near each other on an equatorial plain in an area of Mars called Elysium Planitia.
Using a ground-piercing radar sensor aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, a team of scientists created 3-D maps of an equatorial region known as Elysium Planitia and the channels that run underneath the plains.
42[degrees] E) is a large crater lying south of Elysium Planitia with an odd, 5-kilometer-high mountain in the middle.
Other researchers caution that the flat region, known as Elysium Planitia, might have been sculpted by flowing lava or a mixture of lava and water.
But Murray maintains that water, not lava, shaped Elysium Planitia.
Jim Rice of Arizona State University in Tempe, who previously suggested that water played a role in forming features at Elysium Planitia, says that a thick deposit of ash on top of a frozen sea seems far-fetched.
The channels lie in Elysium Planitia, an expanse of plains along the Martian equator and the youngest volcanic region on the planet.
The next image involves Martian volcanism on Elysium Planitia, with beautiful examples of the strange patterns found in many young lavas (6).
Some striking stereo views of the Red Planet include 200-foot-tall fractured mounds, probably composed of solidified lava, on the southern edge of Elysium Planitia, and, groups of gullies at different elevations along the wall of an unnamed crater in Terra Cimmeria.
Berman (Planetary Science Institute) examined MGS images of lava flows in the southern Elysium Planitia and also studied images taken by Viking in the late 1970s.
Visible are the famous Syrtis Blue Cloud (3 o'clock) as well as significant cloud formations over the Hellas Basin (1 o'clock) and Elysium Planitia (near left limb).