Thanks to Earth's aerial and satellite views, we all know what the river valleys look from above. Seeing one on Mars highlights how similar our planets can appear despite their dramatic differences.
The space agency Mars Express of the European Space Agency gave us a spectacular view of a relic of the past of the Red Planet. It is now dry and dusty, but we can see the remnants of a cross-river network of river valleys.
ESA has also created a perspective view that makes it feel like you're flying around the globe.
Mars Express captured the image in November 2018 and the ESA shares it on Thursday, saying it shows "clear signs of past water activity." The valley network is located in an area of the highlands east of the Huygens impact crater and north of the influential basin of Greece.
The valleys have been eroded over time, but the branches that look like twigs are still easily identified.
The ESA highlights recent research showing that "the planet had a thicker, denser atmosphere that was able to lock in much larger amounts of warmth and thus facilitate and support the flow of liquid water to the lower surface."
The depiction of Mars Express is not the first sign of the rivers that have gone a long way on Mars, but it is one of the reasons why we still have the hope of finding the signs of ancient life on the Red Planet one day. Scientists also suspect Mars is hiding a salty lake under the southern ice cap.
Mars is going to get some new runners by ESA / Roscosmos and NASA the next years. Both will look for signs of past life. The view of the ESA River Valley simply adds to the expectation.