Videos created from images collected in orbit by spaceships can give us stunning views of the space that surrounds us.
The latest video from the European Space Agency (ESA) provides a unique view of one of the most fascinating craters on Mars.
The images were obtained using a high-resolution stereo camera (HRSC) from Mars Express, ESA’s spacecraft, during a flight over the Red Planet.
According to the portal Universe Today, images are usually taken by pointing the camera at the surface. Then, combining them with topographic information from HRSC’s stereo channels, a three-dimensional landscape is generated, which is then recorded from different perspectives, like a cinema camera, to render the flight shown in the video.
The Korolev crater is 82 km wide and at least 2 km deep. Well preserved, it is located on the northern plain of Mars.
Universe Today draws attention to the fact that the whiteness that is observed is not snow, but water ice.
Its central part is almost two kilometers thick of ice throughout the year, being one of the largest reservoirs of non-polar ice on Mars.
The water ice is permanently stable in the Korolev crater because the deepest part of this depression acts as a natural cold trap.
ESA scientists explain that the air above the ice cools and is therefore heavier compared to the surrounding air: as the air is a poor conductor of heat, the pile of ice is always protected from heating and sublimation, says the portal.
The crater was named Korolev in honor of Sergei Korolev (1907-1966), Russian spacecraft engineer and primarily responsible for the first man-made satellite – Sputnik in 1957 – as well as the first human space flight, Yuri Gagarin in 1961.
The Soyuz spacecraft – designed by him – are still in operation today.