Today’s Image of the Day from the European Space Agency features an intriguing view of Mars captured by the ESA/Roscosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. The image is focused on a four-kilometer-wide crater in Mars’ north polar region of Vastitas Borealis.
According to ESA, the crater is partially filled with water ice, which is also particularly predominant on its north-facing slopes that receive fewer hours of sunlight throughout the year.
The photograph highlights the contrasting colors of the white water-ice against the rusty red soil. ESA compares the scene to a “sprinkle of powdered sugar on a rich red velvet cake.”
The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter arrived at Mars in 2016 and began its mission in 2018. In addition to capturing incredible images, the spacecraft has provided scientists with an unprecedented inventory of the planet’s atmospheric gases.
The second ExoMars mission – including the Rosalind Franklin rover and Kazachok platform – will arrive on Mars in 2023.
Image Credit: ESA