The Ice of Summer

Martian polar cap
A close-up view of the north polar ice cap of Mars. Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin

Europe’s Mars orbiter, Mars Express, captured this striking look at details of the Red Planet’s polar ice cap during the summer solstice. The white areas are vast sheets of water ice. In this shot it’s easy to see the layers built by countless seasons of dry ice and water ice being laid down and swept away again. The canyon that bisects the image, Chasma Boreale, is about 100 kilometers wide and two kilometers deep.

Martian ice cap
Detail showing the head of Chasma Boreale. Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin

Sent by: Mars Express | From: Mars | Released: August, 2011 | Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin | Image source

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