Fly over the picturesque crater of Mars

The European space Agency (ESA) posted a video of the Mars Express, which allows you to “fly” over one of the most beautiful craters of Mars – a Crater Queen.

These videos are usually composed from many photos taken at the Nadir (straight down), on this entry was used topographic data from stereo cameras. They are allowed to generate three-dimensional landscape, which was then filmed from different angles to create the feeling of flying.

Crater Queen is 82 km in diameter and 2 km in depth. It is located in the Northern part of Mars, just South of the large, covered dunes of the region which encircles the Northern pole of the planet. Crater all year round filled with ice at the center reaches a thickness of 1.8 kilometres and Is the largest repository of non-polar ice on Mars.

The question is: why is this ice evaporates in the difficult conditions of the Martian atmosphere? As on Earth, water ice on Mars at low pressure typically goes from solid to gas (the pressure on the surface of Mars is 8 millibars vs 1013 millibars on Earth). But this process is affected by temperature. The ice in the Crater of the Queen remains stable as the deepest part of the crater is a natural heat trap. The air above the ice crust cools and becomes heavier than the surrounding air masses. Since air is a poor conductor of heat, ice in the crater gains a shield that protects it from melting.

The Queen crater is named after a famous Russian engineer Sergei Pavlovich Korolev (1907-1966), who developed the first Russian Intercontinental ballistic missile R7 – ancestor of the modern “Unions”. P7 allowed to bring into space the first Soviet space satellite in 1957 and provided the historic flight of Yuri Gagarin in 1961.

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