Flyover videos are fun to watch and so much more if it is from another planet. Images taken by the European Space Agency's Mars Express Orbiter have been gathered to create these stunning videos that give the sense of what it feels like to fly above another planet.
ESA's latest flyover video provides a spectacular view of one of Mars' most eye-popping craters. It is created using the High-Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) of the Mars Express.
The images are typically taken straight down, but with the help of topography information from the stereo channels of HRSC to generate as 3D landscape recorded from different perspectives just like with a movie camera, it renders the flight shown in the video.
The Korolev Crater
The ice-filled crater of Mars known as Korolev Crater, is 50 miles (80 kilometers) across and at least 1.25miles (2 kilometers) deep. It is located in the northern lowlands of Mars, just south of a large patch of terrain filled with dune that encircles a part of the northern cap of Mars known as Olympia Undae.
Inside the crater is not snow but rather water ice that continually fills the crater. Korolev crater's central mound measures about 1.1 miles (1.8 kilometers) thick all year round and is considered to be one of the largest reservoirs of non-polar ice on the red planet.
According to the author of the article from Science Alert, Korolev crate reminds her of the flight she took when she flew over Meteor Crater in Arizona, USA. But compared to Korolev Crater, Meteor Crater is less than a mile across- about 0.737 miles (1.186 kilometers)- and just 560 feet (170 meters deep.
The crater is named after the Russian rocket engineer and spacecraft designer Sergei Pavlovich Korolev. He designed the precursor of the modern Soyuz rockets that are still operated today, the first Russian intercontinental rocket R7.
How Did Ice Remain Stable in Korolev Crater?
Does not water ice sublimate away in the thin atmosphere of Mars? Anyone would be thinking that question as to how water ice remained stable in the crater.
The water ice on Mars I similar to the dry ice here on Earth that usually transforms from solid to gas with the low atmospheric pressure. On average, Mars has approximately seven millibars while on Earth, the atmospheric pressure at sea level is at 1,013.25 millibars, that is 14.7 per square inch.
However, other factors can also influence the stability of the ice, such as the temperature. According to scientists, the water ice in Korolec Crater remains stable because the deepest part of the crater acts as a natural cold trap.
Furthermore, ESA scientists explained that the air above the ice cools. Therefore, it is heavier compared to the surrounding air; and since air is a poor conductor of heat, the water ice mound is effectively protected from heating and sublimation.