Syrtis Major


Syrtis Major
/serr"tis/
an area in the northern hemisphere and near the equator of Mars, appearing as a dark region when viewed telescopically from the earth.

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▪ surface feature, Mars
  distinctive dark marking on the surface of the planet Mars, centred near 290° W and 10° N, which extends some 1,500 km (930 miles) north from the planet's equator and spans 1,000 km (620 miles) from west to east. It was noticed as early as 1659, for it appears in a drawing of Mars of that date by Christiaan Huygens (Huygens, Christiaan). It is an extensive regional slope elongated north to south that drops 4 km (2.5 miles) from its western boundary (Aeria) to its eastern edge (Isidis). Assiduously observed for more than a century because of its seasonal and long-term variability, especially near its eastern boundary, Syrtis Major was first considered a shallow sea. Later its variability was attributed to vegetation. Closeup photographs and data returned by the U.S. Mariner and Viking planetary probes during the 1960s and '70s enabled investigators to determine that the changes are caused by wind blowing sand and dust across the surface. In the early 1980s detailed topographical maps, prepared from Earth-based spectroscopic and radar observations as well as from the space-probe photographs, indicated that Syrtis Major includes a high-altitude bulge rising to 6 km (3.7 miles) at 310° W.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Syrtis Major — Imagen mosaico digital de Marte del cuadrante MC 13, mostrando la región Syrtis Major. Syrtis Major Planum es un punto negro (una característica del albedo) del planeta Marte, la mancha más característica en su superficie. Consiste en una meseta …   Wikipedia Español

  • Syrtis Major — geographical name see sidra (Gulf of) …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Syrtis Major — /ˈsɜtəs/ (say sertuhs) noun a dark region in the northern hemisphere of Mars …   Australian English dictionary

  • Syrtis Major — /serr tis/ an area in the northern hemisphere and near the equator of Mars, appearing as a dark region when viewed telescopically from the earth …   Useful english dictionary

  • Syrtis Major Planum — Syrtis Major Mars digital image mosaic merged with color of the MC 13 quadrangle, Syrtis Major region of Mars. Coordinates …   Wikipedia

  • Syrtis Major Planum — Cet article concerne le plateau volcanique martien. Pour le volcan éponyme, voir Syrtis Major. Syrtis Major Planum Quadrangle de Syrtis Major …   Wikipédia en Français

  • SYRTIS, MAJOR AND MINOR —    the ancient names of the Gulfs of Sidra and Cabes on the N. coast of Africa, the former between Tripoli and Barca, the latter between Tunis and Tripoli …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia


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