Mars’ Korolev Crater Is 82 Km Long and Frozen All the Time

Way north on Mars there is a very interesting landmark that would be an awesome skating ring. It is a crater filled with ice that does not melt at all, and it is 82 kilometers long.

This crater formed a long time ago when Mars was hit by another space object, leaving the hole that slowly accumulated dust and water ice.

The place is called the Korolev crater and this photograph was captured by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) aboard Mars Express mission. The European Space Agency launched Mars Express in 2003, and 15 years later, it sent back amazing images. These latest photos are a composite of five images that were taken by Mars Express as the commemoration of its 15th arrival to Mars.

According to the ESA, the Korolev crater was found on the northern lowlands on Mars, south of the dunes that surround Olympic Undae, which is the northern polar cap.

The Cold Trap Phenomenon

The center of the crater is filled with nearly 1.8 kilometers thick ice, and all of that is possible due to the “cold trap.”

The cold trap is a phenomenon in which the movement of air over ice gets cold and sinks, forming a layer over the frozen water, again and again, maintaining the stability of the ice and keeping it from evaporating or warming.

According to the Guardian, the crater contains 2,209 cubic kilometers of ice, which I equivalent to the ice found in Great Bear Lake (Northwest Territories).

The Korolev crater was photographed back in April by the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter which used a Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) to get this detailed image below.

Mar’s icy crater was named after the Soviet scientist – Sergei Korolev, who was part of the Sputnik mission – which sent the first artificial satellites into Earth’s orbit, and part of the Vostok program – during which Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space was sent.

Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.