New images from U.S. and European spacecraft support growing evidence that Mars once was a water-rich planet capable of supporting life.
The new views reveal details of regions thought to contain water-bearing minerals and geological formations formed billions of years ago.
Stunning images captured by the High-Resolution Stereo Camera aboard the European Space Agency's Mars Express show the cliffs, valleys and plateaus of Echus Chasma, thought to have been one of the largest water-source regions on Mars.
Echus Chasma resembles a dry riverbed 60 miles long and 6 miles wide. It cuts through the Lunae Planum high plateau north of Valles Marineris, the so-called Grand Canyon of Mars.
The images — released Tuesday but taken on Sept. 25, 2005 — show side-branching valleys roughly 6 miles long and half a mile deep.