the red eye of mars

The reddish eye of the planet Mars, photographed by the ExoMars of the European Space Agency

Like a pinch of powdered sugar in a rich red velvet cake, the eye of Mars was photographed by the Trace Gas Orbiter of the ExoMars spacecraft. AT THAT. The image shows the colors of white water ice glistening against the rusty red ground of Mars.

This enchanting image was taken on July 5, 2021. It is a view of a 4 km wide crater in the north polar region of Mars, at Vastitas Borealis.

The crater is partially filled with water ice, which is also particularly prevalent on the north-facing slopes, where it receives fewer hours of sunlight on average throughout the year.

The dark material clearly visible at the edge of the crater is likely made from volcanic materials such as basalt.

Most of the surrounding terrain is free of ice, but has been shaped by the winds. The streaks in the lower right corner of the image are formed by winds that have removed the brighter iron oxide dust from the surface, exposing a slightly darker underlying substrate.

The TGO landed on Mars in 2016 and began its full scientific mission in 2018. The spacecraft not only captures spectacular images, it also provides the best inventory of atmospheric gases on the planet and maps the Martian surface to water-rich locations.

It will also provide data relay services for the second ExoMars mission comprising the Rosalind Franklin rover and the Kazachok platform when it reaches Mars in 2023.

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