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12/21/2018 07:57 AM
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The European Space Agency Released an Image Taken by Its Mars Express Mission on Thursday, Showing the Crater Filled With Water Ice
CNN) — Although it looks like a beautiful mound of snow on the Red Planet, the Korolev crater would be more suited for ice skating than building a snowman. The European Space Agency released an image taken by its Mars Express mission on Thursday, showing the crater filled with water ice.
But the crater isn't just icy because of the Martian winter. Korolev crater is filled with ice that's about 5,905 feet thick all year long.
The crater, which is nearly 50.1 miles across, is just south of the northern polar cap, known as Olympia Undae, in the northern lowlands. The deep base of the crater floor, about 1.2 miles below the rim, contains ice and acts as a cold trap. Air moving over the ice cools and sinks, creating a layer of cold air over the ice. This has enabled the ice to remain without melting.
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