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Last Updated: Friday, 23 January, 2004, 13:25 GMT
In pictures: Close-ups of Mars
The European Mars Express space probe has sent back highly detailed images of the surface of the Red Planet.

The pictures, taken with its High Resolution Stereo Camera, show craters, a volcano and features thought to be created by flowing water.

Tectonic structures

This image, taken on 14 January 2004 from a height of 275 km, shows an area 50 km across, containing features controlled by the action of tectonic plates. The location is south of Valles Marineris, a 4,000-km-long canyon running across the surface of the planet. North is at top.


Taken on 14 January 2004 in the huge canyon Valles Marineris, this picture shows cliffs, flatish highlands known as mesas, and features which indicate erosion caused by the action of flowing water. The landscape is seen in a vertical view, with north at the bottom.

True colours

This picture, taken on 14 January 2004, shows a vertical view of a 7.6-km-wide mesa in the true colours of Mars. The summit plateau stands about 3 km above the surrounding terrain. The original surface was dissected by erosion - only isolated mesas have remained intact.

Water-formed channel

This picture was taken on 15 January 2004, east of an area called the Hellas basin. It shows an area 100 km across, including a channel - Reull Vallis - once formed by flowing water. The landscape is seen in a vertical view, with north is at the top.

Volcano caldera

This picture, taken on 19 January 2004, shows the summit caldera (collapsed magma chamber) of the volcano Albor Tholus. It is of particular interest as the 3 km depth of the caldera approaches the height of the volcano, which is unusual on Earth. A bright "dust fall" seems to flow from the plateau into the caldera.

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