Research NewsPlanetary Science

Surveyor Shows the Flat Face of Mars

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Science  13 Mar 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5357, pp. 1634
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5357.1634

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Mars has a great crustal dichotomy: Much of its northern hemisphere is a low-lying plain roughly centered on the north pole, while the rest of that hemisphere and all of the southern hemisphere are ancient highlands. The first results from the altimeter aboard the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, reported on page 1686, are now indicating that Earth-like tectonic forces and perhaps even an ancient ocean have shaped Mars's northern lowlands.