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Valles Marineris

Image of Valles Marineris Along the Martian equator, stretching eastward from the Tharsis Bulge we see numerous canyons. The Valles Marineris, or Valleys of Mariner, after the Mariner 9 spacecraft discovered these canyons and photographed them in 1971, is nearly 5,000 kilometers (3,000 miles) long, 80 kilometers (50 miles) wide, and the walls are more than 8 kilometers ( five miles) high.

Scientists believe that the Valles Marineris canyons were probably formed by a stretching of the Mars crust much like the forces that pulled Earth's continents apart from one another long ago. They do not believe these canyons were formed by running water which causes the canyons we're used to here on Earth.

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