One of the ESA’s probes traveling along the orbit around Mars has taken a majestic photo featuring an ice lake. Water has been known to be present on the Red Planet, and now the mankind is becoming aware of ice surprisingly abundant there.
The researchers of the European Space Agency (ESA) remarked a crater full of ice on the Martian surface. The ESA’s Mars Express spacecraft launched as early as June 2, 2003 has been monitoring the planet for 15 years. Its stereoscopic high-resolution camera made five different “bands”, each of which came from a different orbit. When put together, the images got assembled into a majestic picture showing the white Martian lake with terrestrial surroundings.
History of water on Mars
One of the latest Martian water discoveries was liquid water hidden under the south pole on the Red Planet. According to the scientists, the planet’s water represents only remnants from its former reserves. The Red Planet reportedly had plenty of rivers, lakes and oceans comparable with the Arctic Ocean by volumes. Subsequently, the water reserves evaporated into the space over time, and the same happened with the planet’s atmosphere. Only a small portion of water has remained in the form of such ice craters or caps.
Name and parameters
The Korolev Crater lies in the northern Martial lowlands. It is as large as 82 km 2 in area, which makes it one of the major craters on Mars. The entire volume of the crater is filled with ice. In winter, this “wonderland’s” thickness reaches 2 kilometers. (Mars really has seasons).
Self-contained water body
Seemingly, this massive ice exists due to self-feeding: the ice cools the air circulating over the crater. The resulting cold layer condenses when cooled, thus forming a natural shield over the ice and preventing it from heating. The crater got the name of Sergey Korolev, the founder of the Soviet space program.