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The crater is located on the planet’s northern lowlands, which are found south of a patch of terrain packed with dunes and that surround Olympic Undae, Mars’ northern polar cap, according to the ESA.
At the crater’s centre is a pile of ice that’s as much as 1.8 kilometres thick, the ESA added.
And it exists because of what’s known as a “cold trap.”
A perspective of the Korolev crater on Mars.
A “cold trap” is a phenomenon in which air moves over the ice, cools and then sinks down, eventually forming a layer that sits right over the frozen water that’s already there.
That layer of cold air helps to maintain the ice’s stability and keeps it from warming and evaporating.
This image shows the topography of the Korolev crater on Mars.
Korolev crater is named for Sergei Korolev, a Soviet scientist who worked on missions such as Sputnik, which sent the first artificial satellites into orbit around Earth, and the Vostok program, under which a spacecraft carried Yuri Gagarin into space, making him the first human in space.
But these aren’t the first images to capture the Korolev crater.
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