The North Pole of Mars is covered by a deep layer of ice. This has been confirmed by the Marx Express probe, responsible for this image. The probe, owned by the European Space Agency (ESA), sent this photograph, consisting of 57 independent images obtained with the High Resolution Stereo Camera. The photo was taken when the Mars Express was at the point of its orbit closest to the planet, just 300 kilometers above sea level.
The cap of this pole is about 1,000 kilometers in diameter and 2 kilometers deep. It is crowned by a mound of ice furrowed by dark spiral pits. It is believed that these peculiar spiral pits may be the result of the strong winds that predominate in the region. The deeper layers are the result of seasonal melting and subsequent accumulation of ice mixed with dust.
In the lower left part of the image you can see a gap, which is 318 kilometers long and 2 kilometers deep. It is called Chasma Boreale, and its origin is prior to the spiral pits. As new ice deposits accumulate, it gets deeper.
The frozen water of the North Pole of Mars is covered by a thin layer of carbonic snow, only a few centimeters thick. When summers are warmer on the planet, a large part of the carbon dioxide sublimates, escaping into the atmosphere and leaving the layers of water exposed.
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