Orbiter recorded a huge ice crater on Mars (photo)

19.05.2024/23/30 XNUMX:XNUMX    984

The TGO instrument sent a picture of the 8-kilometer crater, which is located in the largest impact crater in the Solar System.

A massive 8 km diameter impact crater on Mars dominates a new image taken by the European Space Agency's (ESA) Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO). The icy features of this structure make it possible to understand the watery past of the Red Planet, he writes Space.

The TGO orbiter sent back to Earth a new photo of a huge crater that was formed by the fall of an asteroid in the distant past. The "hero" of the image is located in an even larger impact structure on Mars called the Utopia Plain. This is the largest impact crater not only on the Red Planet, but also in the entire Solar System. It has a diameter of approximately 3300 km, which is twice the length of the Sahara desert from north to south.

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Crater Mars Fullscreen
The "hero" of the image is located in an even larger impact structure on Mars called the Utopia Plain. This is the largest impact crater not only on the Red Planet, but also in the entire Solar System
Photo: NASA

According to the ESA statement, interesting icy features on the surface of the crater and below it provide insight into the watery past of Mars. According to scientists, this crater is one of the many evidences of ancient asteroid falls on the surface of the planet. Water, volcanoes, and asteroid impacts shaped the surface of Mars in the distant past. But despite the fact that Mars is believed to have once been covered with water and had a fairly moderate temperature, now the planet is a cold and arid desert.




The new close-up photo of the large crater was obtained by the TGO orbiter when it was 400 km above the impact structure.

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Crater Mars Fullscreen
A new close-up photo of the large crater was obtained by the TGO orbiter when it was 400 km above the impact structure
Photo: NASA

The Plains of Utopia are known to exhibit icy features, including frost on the surface during the Martian winter. The crater, which has a diameter of 8 km, also shows evidence of ejected material, suggesting that water ice was present in the region in the distant past when the asteroid hit. The tremendous heat generated by the impact melted the water ice and forced the mixture of liquid water and dust to rise.

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According to the scientists, the appearance of the crater is consistent with other features of this region, which prove the watery past of Mars and show the evolution of water ice.