On the floor of Eberswalde crater, winding channels once fed water into a lake, depositing a fan of dark sediment that covers 115 square kilometres. The structure was discovered in 2002 images from NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor, and appears here in a new colour photograph from the European Space Agency’s Mars Express satellite.
The feature supports the idea that liquid water flowed across the Red Planet’s surface early in its history.
The partially buried Eberswalde crater was a top candidate for the landing site of NASA’s next Mars rover, called Curiosity, which is due to launch in November.
However, Gale crater beat out Eberswalde because of its diverse water-related features and layered mountain of sediment that preserves a long history of climate changes.