Mars satellite captures image of giant ‘claw marks’ across Red Planet's surface

STUNNING IMAGES taken by the European Space Agency's

 The fossae formed around 3.6–3.2 billion years ago as the summit of the volcano rose in elevation

. As pairs of parallel faults opened up, the rock between them would drop down,

the two fossae form an incomplete ring around the volcano, stretching over more than 620 miles.

The grabens, meanwhile, stretch up to 6.2 miles in width and can be some 1,150 feet deep

The Mars Express Orbiter had been circling and mapping out the Red Planet since 2003

the composition and circulation patterns of the thin atmosphere, and is even probing beneath the crust of our neighbouring world

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