Each planet, or satellite, has its own kind of surface. Surface features can vary from vast plains, such as the Moon’s maria, to rocky and slopy terrains. Here are some of the most impressive surface features among the Solar System’s planets and satellites. Post created by Fabio
The Valles Marineris, on Mars, is a complex of deep valleys named after the Mariner 9 probe. The valley network is 4000 km long and reaches a maximum depth of 7 km.
A chaos, such as this (also on Mars), is a region where different kinds of geological features overlap each other. Such places are common on the Moon, Mars, and Jupiter’s satellite Europa.
Jupiter’s satellite Io is one of the few solar system bodies that can boast active volcanoes on its surface. The driving force behind the eruptions is the strong tidal interaction betwenn Io and its mother planet.
These dark streaks, or lineae, cross the icy surface of Europa, one of the main satellites of Jupiter. Their origin is still debated.
The equator of Iapetus, Saturn’s third-largest moon, is not only a straight line on a map: it is clearly visible on the surface, where it is marked by a high ridge going all around the satellite. Its origin is also unclear.
Though it looks like the shell of a melon, this is actually the surface of Triton, Neptune’s main satellite. Its appearance prompted the name cantaloupe terrain. [Credit of all images: Wikimedia Commons]