Cool image time! The photo to the right, cropped and reduced to post here, was taken on July 20, 2022 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). It shows what the scientists have labeled a “Splitting Slope Streak” on a mound/hill near the equator and located almost midpoint between the giant volcano Olympus Mons about 2,000 miles to the east and the almost as big volcano Elysium Mons about 2,500 miles to the west. The white cross on the overview map above marks this location, north of the Medusae Fossae volcanic ash deposit.
The slope streak in question is the biggest and darkest at about 7 o’clock. Slope streaks are a feature unique to Mars that remain as yet unexplained. They are not ordinary avalanches, despite their appearance. They seem to have no effect on the topography, and thus are more a stain on the surface. Moreover, some are bright, some dark, and all happen randomly and fade with time. Some think they may be brine-related, while others link them to dust. No theory explains them completely.
What makes this slope streak interesting is that it is relatively new. Compare it with the picture taken in 2016 below.
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