Feeds

Mars volcanoes not dead, just resting

Like that parrot?

Top three mobile application threats

Reports of Mars' geological death might have been greatly exaggerated, according to researchers working on the European Space Agency's Mars Express mission.

Images from the orbiter reveal volcanic cones at the planet's north pole that are unmarked by craters, suggesting that they erupted relatively recently, the BBC reports.

The amount of cratering on a planetary surface is a widely accepted method of estimating that surface's age, and assumes a steady rate of impacts on planets, over the last four billion years or so.

Dr. Gerhard Neukum from the Free University in Berlin, and the principal investigator for the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on Mars Express, told delegates at a meeting of planetary scientists in Cambridge:

"Mars is a planet that was very recently active - maybe one, or two, or three million years ago."

He said that the cones give him the impression that Mars could still be geologically active, even today. Volcanic activity on Mars is thought to have reached a maximum around 1.5bn years ago.

He acknowledged that it was possible that if the cones were ancient features, any cratering could have been eroded by the Martian winds. But he said the region - which features somewhere between 50 and 100 volcanoes - showed no other wind-related features. He also noted that some traces of the craters should remain, and that he could see none.

Dr. Neukum also proposes that volcanic activity and glacial activity on the planet are linked, but other scientists think the inclination of the planet's orbit around the sun has a bigger influence on the movement of water. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph
Swan dive signs off successful science mission
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.