Chaos Crunch

The Crispity, Crunchety Surface of Mars
The Crispity, Crunchety Surface of Mars

No, it’s not the back of a Nestle Crunch bar…it’s a photo of a region on Mars known as “Ariadnes Colles”. This lumpy, rock-filled landscape is called chaos terrain, and in other areas of Mars is usually attributed to water erosion but in this case it’s believed that wind is the source.

The image above shows a section of the area about 15 miles across. The entire region is about 112 x 100 square miles. Click for a full-scale view.

This photo was taken by the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter on April 16 of 2007. Its high resolution stereo cameras are able to take very detailed images that can then be mapped in three-dimensional views. See this region in 3D.

The larger rock outcrops seen in the photo can be several hundred feet high.

Image credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)


(I still think it looks like a Crunch bar though.)