Do You Heart Mars?

Heart-Shaped Crater
Heart-Shaped Crater

Well, Mars hearts you.

This 1.25-mile-long crater was photographed by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on February 26, 2008. It lies on the western edge of the Hydaspis Chaos region, an area of jumbled depressions thought to be caused by the sudden release of groundwater. Click to see a larger shot of the area.

Other heart-shaped landforms have been photographed before on Mars, such as these from the Malin Space Science Systems and Mars Global Surveyor. They are often the result of collapse pits, eroded mesas or combined craters. So whether it’s hearts or a giant happy face, it seems Mars has nothing but good emotions for anyone looking its way. If only everyone were that friendly!

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

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