ESA has released a stunning image of a Martian crater

ESA has released a stunning image of a Martian crater

Ever used powdered sugar to cover up a burnt crust on your cake? Maybe we’re thinking too much about festive cake baking gone wrong, but that’s what this new image from @ESA_TGO reminds us of 🤭 (It really shows water ice inside a crater in the north polar region of #Mars) https://t.co/pdFss4rbsg— ESA Science (@esascience) December 24, 2021

Story Highlights:

  • The picture was shared by the Orbiter’s official Twitter handle and ESA’s website on December 24. Sharing the picture, ESA Science’s official Twitter account wrote, “Maybe we’re thinking too much about festive cake baking gone wrong, but that’s what this new image from the Trace Gas Orbiter reminds us of.”

  • According to ESA, the crater in the delightful picture is partially filled with ice. The ice inside the crater, ESA clarifies, is water ice – made up of H2O – and not some other formsuch as dry ice, which is carbon dioxide’s solid form. The ice is predominant on north-facing slopes, owing to the lesser hours of sunlight the surface gets throughout the year on average.

The rim of the crater looks darker and scorched, which indicates that it could be made up of volcanic materials such as basalt, according to ESA.

Many Twitter users were astonished to see the beautiful picture. “Imagine skiing on those slopes,” a user wrote in response.

The surface surrounding the crater is mostly ice-free but the dark streaks visible in the bottom-right of the image are shaped by winds. Winds appear to have removed the brighter Iron Oxide – rust – surface layer to uncover a darker substrate.

Another user found the detailed image to be spectacular.

The orbiter that took the picture was sent to the red planet in 2016 and began its operation in 2018. The spacecraft is not only taking breathtaking images of the red world but is also collecting and working to identify the atmospheric gases in the Martian atmosphere. Moreover, the orbiter is mapping the planet for water-rich locations.

WThe orbiter that took the picture was sent to the red planet in 2016 and began its operation in 2018. The spacecraft is not only taking breathtaking images of the red world but is also collecting and working to identify the atmospheric gases in the Martian atmosphere. Moreover, the orbiter is mapping the planet for water-rich locations. What do you think of the ‘red velvet cake’ image from Mars?

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