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The spaceship takes winter photos of a huge ice crater on Mars



In a rare seasonal view of Mars, on December 20, the European Space Agency announced a wintry photo of the Korolev crater on the surface of the Red Planet.

The ESA reports in a press release, which shows the photo "What seems to be a big patch of fresh, unseen snow" in the massive crater. The photos shown at the top of the page were taken by the Mars Express Space Agency mission, which started in 2003 and has since been exploring the planet.

"These pictures are an excellent celebration of such a milestone. This view of the Korolev crater includes a high-resolution stereo camera from Mars Express (HRSC), which consists of five different stripes that have been assembled into one image, with each stripe being collected in a different orbit, "ESA reports in a news release.

"The crater is also shown in perspective, context and topographical views, which all provide a more complete overview of the terrain in and around the crater."

The Korolev crater itself is said to be located in the crater's northern lowland of the Red Planets and with a diameter of 82 kilometers (about 51

miles). While the picture is reminiscent of snow, the space agency says that the "well-preserved" crater actually contains ice.

"This ice-cold presence is based on an interesting phenomenon called 'cold trap', as the name implies. The crater floor is deep and lies about two kilometers vertically under its edge, "explains the space agency.

"The deepest parts of the Korolev crater, the ice-cold ones, act like a natural cold trap: the air that moves over the ice deposit cools and sinks, creating a layer of cold air that lies directly above the ice ,

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