Year of 2017

Ice in a crater on Mars

There’s water on Mars, and the European Space Agency’s satellite Mars Express has the photos to prove it. Up in the northern parts of the red planet, the water stays frozen all year. But in winter a layer of frozen carbon dioxide—dry ice—forms on top of this. The Mars Express has taken enough photos of the planet’s surface to create one of the most complete topographical maps of Mars we have.

Vastitas Borealis is the largest lowland region of Mars. It is in the northerly latitudes of the planet and encircles the northern polar region. Vastitas Borealis is often simply referred to as the northern plains or northern lowlands of Mars. The plains lie 4–5 km below the mean radius of the planet. To the north lies Planum Boreum. A small part of Vastitas Borealis lies in the Ismenius Lacus quadrangle.