The European Space Agency (ESA) has unveiled a mesmerizing video showcasing the 'Labyrinth of Night' on Mars, an astonishing landscape that closely resembles some of Earth's most dramatic canyons. This stunning visualization offers a unique perspective, as it takes viewers on a virtual journey over Mars' captivating and intricate terrain.
The four-minute video provides a serene aerial tour set to ethereal music. It captures deep, steep-walled canyons and expansive plateaus, giving a sense of the dusty and sandy nature of the Martian surface. The labyrinth's distinctive features have been shaped by colossal landslides, and dunes blanket the valley slopes.
The imagery used in this visualization is sourced from ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, equipped with the High-Resolution Stereo Camera.
Noctis Labyrinthus, meaning the 'Labyrinth of Night,' sprawls across a colossal 740 miles on Mars, a distance roughly equivalent to the length of Italy. Situated at the western end of Valles Marineris, often referred to as the Grand Canyon of Mars, this scenic maze of valleys boasts unique landscape features known as grabens. These grabens result from the collapse of portions of the planet's crust. ESA attributes their formation to intense volcanism in the nearby region, which caused the Martian crust to arch upwards, stretch, and become tectonically stressed, ultimately leading to thinning, faulting, and subsidence.