Scientists puzzle over mysterious Mars ridges billions of years in the making

Scientists have come up with at least one possible explanation, but answers are

Curated via Twitter from CNET News’s twitter account….

The origin of the strange ridged texture of this Mars terrain, as seen by the MRO HiRise camera, is a puzzle.

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) snapped a picture of "puzzling" ridged terrain located near a wild region called Aureum Chaos.

If successful, the Ingenuity Mars chopper could kick off a new trend in the exploration of other worlds, giving us close-up views of locations other robotic explorers can’t visit.

The HiRise team came up with one possible explanation, which starts with a long-ago layering of sediments left by water or volcanic activity.

"In this image we can see much detail, but the origin of the surface texture is still intriguing," wrote the University of Arizona HiRise team in a picture-of-the-day feature on Aug. 30.

This was followed by perhaps billions of years of erosion by the wind, leaving the cemented fractures as high-standing ridges," the HiRise group suggested.

"A crudely polygonal patterned ground was created by stresses in the sediments, and groundwater followed the fractures and deposited minerals that cemented the sediments.

The story of Mars geology is an unfinished book, but we’re adding chapters all the time, even if some of them end in question marks.

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