A Closer Look: Korolev Crater & the Moons of Mars

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 06 April 2019



Observe Two Solar Eclipses from the Surface of Mars





 NASA, ESA, and STScI.

Hubble reveals Clear & Dusty Faces of Mars. Credits: NASA, ESA, and STScI

Mars Seen in Clear and Dusty Conditions,
NASA, July 26, 2018


An Even Closer Look Reveals the Korolev Crater
Korolev Crater filled with ice, Mars, credit to Credit ESA/DLR/FU Berlin.
Scale: Looking across 51 Mile diameter of ice block that's 1.1 miles thick,
Credit ESA/DLR/FU Berlin

This image from ESA’s Mars Express shows Korolev crater, an 82-kilometre-across feature found in the northern lowlands of Mars.


A Closer Look: Korolev Crater

ESA Inspects the Korolev Crater

Mars Express gets festive A winter wonderland on Mars,
ESA, December 20, 2018.


"...a mound of water ice some 1.8 kilometres thick..."

"...82 kilometres across..."

Korolev Crater
“...this feature, known as Korolev crater, is found on Mars, and is shown here in beautiful detail as seen by Mars Express.”

“The crater is named after chief rocket engineer and spacecraft designer Sergei Korolev, dubbed the father of Soviet space technology.“

“Korolev crater is 82 kilometres across and found in the northern lowlands of Mars, just south of a large patch of dune-filled terrain that encircles part of the planet’s northern polar cap (known as Olympia Undae).”

Massive Mile Thick Ice Mound
“...is filled not by snow but ice, with its centre hosting a mound of water ice some 1.8 kilometres thick all year round. ”

Korolev Cold Trap
“The very deepest parts of Korolev crater, those containing ice, act as a natural cold trap: the air moving over the deposit of ice cools down and sinks, creating a layer of cold air that sits directly above the ice itself. ”

“Air is a poor conductor of heat, exacerbating this effect and keeping Korolev crater permanently icy.“
Korolev Crater, top view from ESA Mars Express, Credit ESA/DLR/FU Berlin.
Korolev Crater, top view from ESA Mars Express Orbiter, Credit ESA/DLR/FU Berlin.


Recent Martian Research


Extraterrestrial Weather on Mars

How the Sun pumps out water from Mars into space,
Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, May 14, 2019.

Great Graphic
The Martian Seasons


March 28, 2019.
Ancient and Modern Martian Water: Two Research Summaries

The research above cites water as the source of crater gullies, or, "RSLs," while the research below claims the gullies are the result of sand flows.

Space Geology: Runoff Gullies Mystery of Mars Solved



Supercold Martian Brines Hold Enough Oxygen to Support Life?

Where’d the Martian Methane Come From? Is it Alive?


Water & Life?

Lake Mars Discovered by Italian Radar on Mars Express Probe


Astrophysics News: Figuring out Mars Ancient Past



2018: Hubble Shots of Our Solar Neighbors, Mars and Saturn




A Closer Look
The Moons of Mars

Fear & Panic


The same advances in the Astronomical Arts that's made these remarkable views of Mars and its surface possible have also given us previously unprecented views of the Moons of Mars.

Phobos, tiny moon of Mars, credit to NASA.
Phobos, credit for image, and more information about Phobos, from, NASA

"Phobos is the larger of the two heavily-cratered Martian moons and is dominated by three large craters. The largest of Phobos' craters...is 10 km in diameter, which is almost half of the average diameter of Phobos!"

Phobos, All About Mars,

Phobos Orbiting Mars
 J. Bell (ASU) and M. Wolff (Space Science Institute).
credit to NASA, ESA and Z. Levay (STScI), J. Bell (ASU) and M. Wolff.


Tiny Moon Phobos
"Hubble Space Telescope captured the tiny moon Phobos during its orbital trek around Mars on 12 May 2016. The observations were intended to photograph Mars while it was on its closest approach to Earth along its orbit, so the moon’s cameo appearance was a bonus."

Phobos, “...orbits incredibly close to Mars, just 6000 km above the planet, making it closer to its parent planet than any other moon in the Solar System.”

"Because the moon is so small, just 27×22×18 km, it appears star-like in the images."

Phobos Orbiting Mars,
European Space Agency, Nov 13, 2017.

A Martian Eclipse
"I can see Fear crossing the Sun's Face"
Phobos Crossing the Sun

Phobos Crossing the Sun from Curiosity Rover, Mars, by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS.
This series of images shows the Martian moon Phobos as it crossed in front of the Sun, as seen by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 (Sol 2359).
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS


Martian Eclipses of the Sun

Phobos and Demos Cross Solar Surface

Curiosity Rover Captured Two Solar Eclipses on Mars,
NASA, April 4, 2019.


Deimos Orbiting Mars


Deimos orbiting Mars, Credits: NASA, ESA, and STScI

"Deimos is the smaller of the two Martian moons and is less irregular in shape."

“Sibling Deimos orbits much further out (than Phobos), at a distance of some 23 500 km.”

"Deimos is about 8 km across at its widest part."

“While the origin of the moons is much debated, their fate is inevitable. Phobos is gradually spiraling in towards Mars and within 50 million years will likely either break up due to the planet’s gravity, or crash into its surface. Meanwhile, the opposite is true for Deimos: its orbit is slowly taking it away from Mars.”

Demos, All About Mars,


Demos Crossing the Sun
Demos Crossing the Sun observed from Curiosity Rover on Mars, NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS.
This series of images shows the Martian moon Deimos as it crossed in front of the Sun, as seen by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover on Sunday, March 17, 2019 (the 2,350th Martian day, or sol, of the mission).
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS


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Korolev Crater, Moons of Mars, ESA, Mars Express, Hubble Space Telescope, Deimos, Phobos


Originally Published
2018-12-22 11:33:20

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