Korolev Crater on Mars is filled with a 1.8-kilometre-thick layer of ice all year round – or 668 sols, or “sol days.” How does this actually happen?
The 82-kilometre-long crater is located in the northern plains, not far from the North Pole. Korolev Crater is a so-called cold trap. The air above the ice cools and descends, causing it to remain above the ice as a layer of cold air. Ice does not heat up and therefore cannot disappear.
This week's space photo is a beautiful image taken by the European Mars Express rover in 2018. Here you can clearly see that the edge of the crater is also covered in ice in certain places. It's unfortunate that the distance between Earth and Mars is relatively large, because it must be pretty cool to cross-country ski from one crater wall to the other crater wall in this crater.
The European Space Agency also filmed a beautiful video, which makes the viewer appear as if he is flying over the crater. private!
The crater is named after Sergei Korolyov: a Ukrainian physicist and engineer. After World War II he designed ballistic missiles and became one of the main founders of the Soviet space program.
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