The German Aerospace Center has utilized data from the ESA’s Mars Express probe to unveil an enhanced color image of Mars, offering a clearer depiction of the planet’s geology and mineral composition compared to the typical reddish, dusty photographs. Within this image, you can observe a portion that provides valuable insight into Mars’ features.
Mars, often called the ‘Red Planet’ due to its reddish hue caused by oxidized iron in surface dust, also features a notable dark region with a bluish appearance. These areas consist of volcanic sands of various shades of gray, black, and blue, forming extensive layers on Mars. The prevailing winds have primarily shaped these sands into impressive sand dunes or vast dune fields within impact craters. Comprised of unweathered dark minerals, similar to those found in basaltic lava on Earth, these sands highlight the volcanic origin of Mars’ geological formations. Basalt, the most abundant volcanic rock in the Solar System and on Earth, constitutes the ocean floor and dormant volcanoes such as the Eifel, Mount Etna in Sicily, and the Hawaiian archipelago.