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Largest Impact Crater
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New analysis of Mars' terrain using NASA spacecraft observations reveals what appears to be by far the largest impact crater ever found in the solar system.
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Global Surveyor have provided detailed information about the elevations and gravity of the Red Planet's northern and southern hemispheres. A new study using this information may solve one of the biggest remaining mysteries in the solar system: why does Mars have two strikingly different kinds of terrain in its northern and southern hemispheres? The huge crater is creating intense scientific interest.
The mystery of the two-faced nature of Mars has perplexed scientists since the first comprehensive images of the surface were beamed home by NASA spacecraft in the 1970s. The main hypotheses have been an ancient impact or some internal process related to the planet's molten subsurface layers. The impact idea, proposed in 1984, fell into disfavour because the basin's shape didn't seem to fit the expected round shape for a crater. The newer data is convincing some experts who doubted the impact scenario.

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