Rock-strewn surface

Rock-strewn surface

. This image, taken from the Viking 2 lander, shows angular rocks that have been tossed across the Martian surface, perhaps as the debris of a nearby crater-forming impact. They cast razor-sharp shadows in the cold, thin atmosphere. Most of the rocks have numerous small holes due to the bursting of bubbles of volcanic gas and pitting by small meteorites. Fierce winds have also eroded the rock surfaces, and piled up fine-grained soil in their lee. A trough filled with the fine-grained sediment extends from the upper left to the lower right. Just beyond the trough, in the right half of the picture there is a large boulder about 1 meter across. (Courtesy of NASA and JPL.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University