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This image is near the southern edge of a low, broad volcanic feature called Syrtis Major. A close look at this image reveals a wrinkly texture that indicates a very rough surface that is associated with the lava flows that cover this region. On a larger scale, there are numerous bright streaks that trail topographic features such as craters. These bright streaks are in the wind shadows of the craters where dust that settles onto the surface is not as easily scoured away. It is important to note that these streaks are only bright in a relative sense to the surrounding image. Syrtis Major is one of the darkest regions on Mars and it is as dark as fresh basalt flows or dunes are on Earth.
05.02.2002

Syrtis Major

This image is near the southern edge of a low, broad volcanic feature called Syrtis Major. A close look at this image reveals a wrinkly texture that indicates a very rough surface that is associated with the lava flows that cover this region. On a larger scale, there are numerous bright streaks that trail topographic features such as craters. These bright streaks are in the wind shadows of the craters where dust that settles onto the surface is not as easily scoured away. It is important to note that these streaks are only bright in a relative sense to the surrounding image. Syrtis Major is one of the darkest regions on Mars and it is as dark as fresh basalt flows or dunes are on Earth.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

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