Flying over the frigid northern reaches of Mars, the orbiting Mars Express satellite captured images of the 50-mile wide Korolev crater filled with ice.
Korolev is an especially alluring sight, not just because it's a well-preserved impact crater but because it's loaded with ice over a mile deep year round.
Launched 15 years ago by the European Space Agency (ESA), Mars Express often focuses on glaciers and ice in the Martian polar regions.
The Korolev crater's ice is resistant to melting during the warmer summer seasons because the massive plain of ice creates a "cold trap," ESA explains. When air travels above the crater, it cools and sinks over the ice, building a sort of cool "shield" over the ice.
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