81 kilometre-wide ice crater on Mars stuns ESA experts

Mars ice crater

The surface of Mars has fascinated space scientists for years and now, a new ice crater measuring 81-miles kilometres wide on the red planet has stunned experts. The milestone discovery was made by the European Space Agency (ESA) and they have also released a picture of this gigantic icy body.

The ice crater has now been named 'Korolev', after chief rocket engineer and spacecraft designer Sergei Korolev, popularly known as the father of Soviet Space technology.

The discovery was made on the northern lowlands of Mars and initial analysis reveals that the crater is more than 2 kilometres deep. ESA also made it clear that the Korolev ice crater is the perfect example of a Martian crater that is totally filled with solid ice and not snow.

Experts revealed that the Korolev ice crater can hold its solid feature due to an occurrence, known as a 'cold trap'. As the air moves across the crater, it gets cool down and will later sink, thereby acting as a shield over the ice. This shield plays a crucial role in keeping the crater cold and frozen throughout the year.

ESA's Mars Express orbiter was launched in 2003 and since then, it has sent some stunning images from the red planet that includes the astonishing image of Martian moon Phobos.

As the news about the gigantic ice crater on Mars surfaced online, a section of conspiracy theorists has started arguing that alien life, sometimes, in its microbial forms, might be thriving under these ice layers. These theorists strongly believe that such microbial living beings might be adapted to live in harsh conditions, and their anatomy and physiology will be very much different compared to life on earth.

A few days ago, NASA's Insight Lander had recorded the sound of smooth breeze on the red planet. The sooting recording was made when winds blew at a speed of 15 miles per hour moved over the solar panels of Insight.

This article was first published on December 22, 2018
Related topics : Space