Perspective view of Korolev crater. Photo via ESA/DLR/FU Berlin shared under CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

The European Space Agency has released an image showing a beautiful crater of ice found on the Red Planet.

Named after chief rocket engineer Sergei Korolev, the Korolev crater on Mars features an ice rink measuring 50 miles wide. The crater is located south of the northern polar cap named Olympia Undae.

The base of the crater floor measures 1.1 miles from the rim to the deepest point that acts as a cold trap. It cools any air moving over the ice, creating a cold layer that prevents the ice from melting.

The photo is a composite taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) instrument attached on the Mars Express satellite. It was stitched together from five different ‘strips’, where each was taken over a different orbit. The image has been color corrected and processed to show how the Korolev crater is viewed from a certain angle.

Plan view of Korolev crater. Photo via ESA/DLR/FU Berlin shared under CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

[via European Space Agency, opening image via ESA/DLR/FU Berlin shared under CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO]

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