Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

The Sciences

Mapping Mars

The red planet has plate tectonics.

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

In 1999, NASA's Mars Global Surveyor first brought back a tantalizing hint that Mars once might have had an earth-like system of plate tectonics.

But the observations covered only a small region and were too spotty to confirm. Now astrophysicists have stitched together comprehensive planetary map of Mars's surface. The map shows striping – a phenomenon created when hot lava pushes two tectonic plates apart as it forces its way to the surface. Since the new lava becomes magnetized in the same direction of the planet's magnetic field, and since the planet's magnetic field periodically flips directions, the striping also provides a record of plate activity through the planet's history. More from nasa.gov.

    2 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 75%

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In