SEP 14, 2015 12:34 PM PDT

Mars Express Spacecraft Pictures Ice Cap on Mars' South Pole

The European Space Agency (ESA) has recently shared a really interesting panoramic photograph of Mars, taken by the Mars Express spacecraft, which is hovering above the surface of Mars.

The Mars Express spacecraft took this panoramic photograph of the Martian South Pole.
 
The panoramic photograph shows the South pole the planet, which gives us a good view of an ice cap on the planet. The image, shared just last week by the ESA, was taken on February 25th of this year.
 
The ESA says that the ice cap is comprised of frozen water and carbon dioxide ice, and that it changes in shape and size depending on the planet’s season.
 
On Mars, this time of the year is Summer, so this photograph was actually taken during the Summer time. The ESA says that when it’s Winter on Mars, this same ice cap is known to extend far out into the smoother plains surrounding the ice cap.
 
Despite the red hue of Mars, don’t be fooled – the planet isn’t hot. It’s further away the Sun than the Earth is, and reaches much colder temperatures than the Earth does.
 
Out beyond on the smoothness, you can see the cratered surface of Mars, which shows the impacts that the planet has taken over the course of its lifetime.
 
The ESA says that this panoramic photograph was taken much higher up from the surface of Mars than the spacecraft typically goes when it normally takes surface pictures.
 
This time, the spacecraft was positioned at 9900 kilometers above the planet’s surface, rather than its typical 300 kilometers. Being so high up gives the spacecraft the advantage of being able to see a large surface area of the planet at once.
 
This large panoramic photograph also gives the spacecraft what the ESA calls a “broom calibration” image, and that’s because it allows the spacecraft’s sensory equipment to use this photograph as a baseline for anything else it picks up when it goes closer to the planet’s surface again.

Source: ESA

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
SEP 13, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
SEP 13, 2018
Faster-Than-Light Jets Seen from Neutron Star Merger
Is there anything in the universe that can travel faster than light? A recent report in the journal Nature declared that the movement of a jet of expl...
SEP 17, 2018
Space & Astronomy
SEP 17, 2018
SpaceX to Announce First Passenger for Upcoming Commercial Lunar Flight
To date, only 24 humans have journeyed to the Moon. Every one of these visits took place more than four decades ago, with the most recent visit having tran...
SEP 18, 2018
Space & Astronomy
SEP 18, 2018
Were There Originally Three Magellanic Clouds?
Astronomers recognize the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds as some of the closest galaxies to the Milky Way, but could there have been a third Magellanic...
OCT 02, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 02, 2018
Here's What'd Happen if We Detonated a Nuclear Bomb in Space
Have you ever wondered what would happen if humankind detonated its most powerful nuclear bomb in space? If so, then this is a video you’ll want to w...
OCT 31, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 31, 2018
ESA's European Service Module is Now Ready to be Shipped to the U.S.
Deep space exploration is slowly becoming the primary focus of major space agencies around the globe, and NASA’s Orion spacecraft is poised to become...
OCT 31, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 31, 2018
Do You Have What it Takes to be an Astronaut?
Have you ever wanted to become an astronaut? If yes, then you’re not alone. Being able to experience zero gravity is a mutual interest among individu...
Loading Comments...