The European Space Agency has published a video dedicated to the Queen Crater on Mars. The video was created on the basis of frames previously obtained using the orbital research station “Mars Express”
Mars-Express was launched on June 2, 2003, and on December 25 entered the orbit of the Red Planet. For 15 years, a lot of discoveries have already been made with the help of the probe – in particular, it allowed to detect water ice in the southern polar cap at the end of the Martian summer, as well as to find methane in the atmosphere of Mars, which may indicate the presence of life on the planet.
Korolev Crater is a depression about 82 kilometers in diameter, located in the lowlands near the North Pole of the Red Planet. It got its name in honor of the general designer of the rocket and space industry of the USSR, Sergei Korolev, under whose leadership the launch of the first artificial Earth satellite and the first cosmonaut of the planet Yuri Gagarin was carried out.
The crater is not filled with snow, as it might seem at first glance, but with ice, the thickness of which almost does not change throughout the year and is about 1.8 kilometers. According to experts, the phenomenon, which in the press release is designated as a “cold trap”, helps not to melt the ice – the air directly above the crater cools and, since the cold gas turns out to be denser than the relatively warm one, “settles” to the surface and covers the ice, preventing it from melt.