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An image of NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has revealed intriguing honeycomb shapes in a region of the Red Planet. The photo was taken by the HiRISE camera on the MRO, and is looking to the northwest of Planita Hellas, one of the largest and oldest impact basins on Mars.


"Honeycombs," as it is called, is a reference to the rectangular ridges that are unique to the red planet. They have been seen before but they are highlighted again in this image. In fact, we're pretty much zoomed in here at 50 centimeters per pixel. But if you look at the enlarged image below, you can clearly see the different sections in honeycomb shape. They measure about 5 to 10 kilometers each.

"Scientists have debated how these characteristics are created, theorizing glacial events, lake formation, volcanic and tectonic activity, or wind erosion," said NASA

It is thought that this feature may be partly formed by erosion of the wind, as the walls of the formations look rather like ripples of sand. The rock was also exposed on the floor and cell walls, which may be the result of volcanic activity.

The shapes are also noticeable otherwise, that is, they have a lack of impact craters. This suggests that they were recently remodeled by one of the processes mentioned above.

Honeycombs were first seen on Mars in 1972, leading to numerous conspiracy theories about Martian cities. Now that we can see them more closely, of course, we can say that they are natural features, but still they are fascinating. [ IFLS ]

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