Mars: Pictures reveal 'winter wonderland' on the red planet
23 Décembre, 2018, 17:40 | Auteur: Therese Cote
The crater is located on the planet's northern lowlands, which are found south of a patch of terrain packed with dunes and that surround Olympic Undae, Mars' northern polar cap, according to the ESA. The impressive impact crater measures 82km across (82 kilometers), and at the center of the circle-it's deepest point-the ice extends down for 1.1 miles (1.8 kilometers).
The Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) instrument aboard the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, which began operating at Mars on 28 April 2018, also snapped a handsome view of part of Korolev crater - this was one of the very first images the spacecraft sent back to Earth after arriving at our neighbouring planet. Apart from space being very cold, which was my first guess, the crater's lip traps the "thin Martian air" in the crater, where it settles over the ice like an insulating blanket.
The stunning snow scene comes as the mission prepares to celebrate 15-years since it entered the Red Planet's orbit on Christmas Day.
Taken by the Mars Express High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), this view of Korolev crater comprises five different "strips" that have been combined to form a single image, with each strip gathered over a different orbit. Nothing is known about the object that impacted the planet to create the crater eons ago, but we do know that the high rim of the crater has made it into an ideal "cold trap". And like Earth, the warmer seasons result in receding ice.
Just like Earth, Mars has four seasons - though they last about "twice as long", NASA says.
In volume, it contains around 2,200 cubic kilometres of ice. Since air is a poor conductor of heat, this cold layer acts as an insulator that protects the ice from warmer air, and therefore keeping it from melting.
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"All around us, there are rocks that were ejected from nearby craters". "Plenty of papers have been written about channels on Mars with many different hypotheses about the flows in them". Well, now the time has changed and we now have the actual pictures that suggest the possibility of water there might be true. "This is a transition from speculation about the size of stream bed material to direct observation of it".
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