The Mars Express Orbiter has caught pictures of an immense hole brimming with ice on the surface of Mars, in the nick of time for the Christmas season.

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Mars Express mission was propelled back in June 2003 and entered circle around the red planet in December of that year. From that point forward, the test has been looking over the surface of Mars utilizing a high goals camera and also different instruments like radars and spectrometers. The revelation of water underneath an ice top on Mars recently was a noteworthy accomplishment which originated from information gathered by the mission.

Presently the orbiter has caught pictures of a tremendous pit, estimating 51 miles crosswise over and situated in the northern marshes of Mars. Despite the fact that it may resemble the hole is brimming with snow, it is in reality loaded with water ice, and researchers gauge that the ice must be 1.1 miles thick in the inside. They trust that the pit will stay loaded with ice throughout the entire year, because of a marvel known as a “chilly device.” This is the place the most profound parts of the hole contains ice which cools air as it moves over it. The cooled air at that point sinks downwards, making a layer of chilly air over the ice which acts like a shield and keeps the ice stable, keeping it from dissolving because of its protecting properties.

The picture of the cavity is a composite of five distinct pictures, every one of which was caught by an instrument on the Mars Express Orbiter called the Mars Express High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC). The pictures were first caught toward the beginning of the year, and with each circle of the planet the orbiter had the ability to catch another bit of the picture. The five pictures were then joined into one to make the photograph shared by the ESA.