Fans of the newly fallen snow will love a recent Martian find thanks to Mars Express.
Images emerged from a huge patch of ice that had not been trodden on the Korolev Crater on Mars. The European Space Agency released the photos earlier this week.
The Korolev crater measures about 82 km in diameter and is in the northern part of the red planet. It lies a little south of a dune-lined terrain called Olympia Undae.
The constant ice of Mars fascinated the early researchers of the red planet. Astronomers have discovered that Mars keeps ice constantly because of a "cold trap." The crater floor "trapped" the air moving over the ice bin. This caused the air to sink, creating cooler air on the ice itself and the process repeated.
The thin layer of air prevents the ice from melting and thus the Korolev crater is permanently icy. Astronomers have been monitoring Korolev for several years and have become a point of interest for other projects, including ESA's ExoMars program.
About the Namesake of Korolev Crater, Sergei Korolev
The Korolev crater bears the name of a Soviet rocket engineer and designer named Sergei Korolev. He is often referred to as the father of Soviet space technology.
Most of the major innovations of the Soviet Union – from Sputnik to the release of Yuri Gagarin – involved Korolev. He also helped launch the first interplanetary missions. Korolev also laid the groundwork for the Soyuz rockets and thus played an important role in bringing researchers around the world to the International Space Station.
About Mars Express
ESA used the Mars Express probe to discover the crater filled with ice. Express entered the orbit of Mars on Christmas Day in 2003. Since its launch, Mars Express has managed several orbits around Mars – giving astronomers one of the most complete images of the Martian surface as possible.
By: European Space Agency